Covid-19’s impact on Dual Enrollment students

Lost our jobs… and now graduation

When I started this column I already had a vision for how I would write this final piece of writing, not only for this series of articles, but as my last piece for the Patriot Press. To say that things did not turn out how I had imagined would be an understatement.

Due to Covid-19, some of you, like myself, will miss out on graduating from CF. For my fellow dual enrollment seniors, this means missing out on two graduations. Also, for the senior’s going to my high school, West Port, there are rights of passage that are on the line.

Odd’s are, you reading this article have more than likely graduated high school. I’d like those readers to take a moment to think back on their senior class trip, their prom, their graduation. I asked my family members to do that same recently.

I got responses regarding prom that it’s just a dance, there will be others, and the senior trip being something I can just do on my own with family. This is not the point. I agree that prom is just a dance and the high school graduating class of 2020 will not die by missing it. However, it’s not about getting a fancy dress and dancing in a gym all night. It’s the memories that we are missing out on.

Some of us have been dreaming about these rewards for graduating our whole lives. Fueled by the Disney movies we watched as children, graduation became some mythical day that was forever away, but when it arrived it would be worth the wait. Now that day is here and it’s in jeopardy.

I’m fortunate enough that my high school principal is fighting for my graduating class to still be able to walk across a stage and receive our diplomas. For those at my high school also graduating with their A.A., it gives us a bit of hope that we will still be able to wear blue CF graduation robes with pride.

West Port has a tradition of letting dual enrollment students wear their CF robes instead of the black high school ones as a way of honoring our accomplishments. With CF’s graduation being 100% cancelled it’s nice to know we didn’t buy our graduation gear for nothing.

As far as Prom and our Senior trip, everything is up in the air. All payments for these events have been made, so the question is whether we will get the dates pushed back or a refund. For those like myself who have recently been laid off and have to file for unemployment at the age of 17, the idea of getting reimbursed doesn’t sound that bad.

Also, if the new dates for the events get pushed back far enough, they may conflict with the summer courses that students going onto university have signed up for. However, at this point it looks like not only will some colleges have summer courses online, they might do the same with Fall courses.

Another thing I would have liked to be able to say in this article is where I will be going after CF. This, like everything else, has derailed. Surprisingly, not because of Covid-19.

After there being some slight confusion due to a schedule change I made during this spring semester, the question of which prerequisites I have is being looked at by the office of admission at my top college. Even though it may not turn out fruitful, because it is the college I’ve dreamed about going to, I feel as though I have to exhaust every resource I have to try to get in.

My second choice of college has already accepted me, which leaves me caught in this limbo. In two weeks it’s going to be May and I have no idea which college I’m going to and therefore can’t plan out anything regarding roommates, meal plans, or even fall courses. And honesty, this is the last thing I want to have to think about.

Sitting down to take notes on macroeconomics is kinda hard when you have to worry about when you’re getting your job back, how you’re going to pay for college because you’re unemployed, and when the last time was you washed your hands.

Switching to online classes hasn’t been that difficult as far as assignments and deadlines, but finding any kind of work ethic while surrounded by distractions of television, my pool, and even my refrigerator full of quarantine food, is proving challenging.

I say all of this not to make anyone out there feel sorry for me, but to tell the people going through situations similar to mine that you’re not alone. If reading the rant above doesn’t tell you I’m feeling stressed and confused and uncertain about the future, I’m not sure what will.

But I also know I’m not the only one feeling this way. I want everyone out there who is in any kind of distress because of what’s going on to see that others are feeling the same way and we are going to get through this together. I’ve already heard stories of people as young as 15 taking their lives because of how helpless they feel.

This column isn’t much, but I’m hoping it’s enough to let people know that yes, things are hard right now, but I have hope that they’ll get better. I have hope that not only will we come out of this, but we will be stronger by the end of it. I have hope that there will be an end.

I didn’t imagine writing my last column like this but I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to write for the Patriot Press at all. A huge thank you to my Editor in Chief, Taukiya Williams, for being my mentor the past year and giving me the building block to help me hopefully do great things with my career in the future. Thank you to Mr. Marino for giving me a shot at being an editor even after only a semester of being with the press.

A thank you to my high school mentors. Mr. Vance, for giving me a place to grow as a musician and giving me a chance at becoming a leader when even I doubted if I could be a good one. I will always remember to be the best that I can be. Dakota Gardner, for believing in me especially when I didn’t believe in myself and teaching me that somethings in life aren’t worth stressing over.

Coach Aperil, for being kind and loving yet always strict and expecting. You gave me a family in guard I didn’t know I needed. Ms. Neal, for reminding me that there are good people in the world and to be the change if you see injustice in it. Mrs. Smith, for helping me achieve this amazing accomplishment of graduating high school with a college degree.

If I could I would thank every band and guard member by name but for now I’ll settle for just a few. Dani and Haley, you helped me every step of the way this year, showed me the power of practice, and I will never forget my dream team.

To the sousaphone section, I’ll be honest you guys almost made me quit band freshman year. But I am so glad that I didn’t and I can’t tell you all enough how proud and happy I am to know now each and every one of you.

Last but probably the most important, I’d like to thank someone who never gave up on me no matter what. Brie, you made coming to school every day worth it and I knew in Mrs. Miller’s classroom, sophomore year when those kids tried to pick a fight with you, that I would have your back always and forever.

And certainly, I’d like to thank my family for supporting me throughout all of high school like I know you’ll do beyond that. The biggest thank you of all to my father, for teaching me how to be a hardworking, never say no, and loyal human being. For teaching me how to be a Salcedo. I hope I make you proud as I continue with the next chapter of my life.

I had hoped to say something like that at a graduation dinner, or a band banquet, or at my birthday celebration. For now this will do. Thank you to the readers of The Patriot Press for supporting the paper and now the website. We’re gonna get through this.