Senior year interrupted: Going nowhere, except crazy

High school comes to an (underwhelming) end, and the summer of uncertainty continues

KatievacuumingWe’re three or 56 months into quarantine and the routine is starting to get to me.

I get up, I do something productive (or not) on my computer, I eat dinner, talk to my friends, go to sleep at a questionable time, my dad wakes me up at 9 a.m. and it starts all over again. Every. Day.

While it can get aggravating, you learn to look at the positive side of things. A majority of my socialization has been chatting online with some of my friends, but not usually until around 1 a.m., since everyone’s sleep schedules have become a blur. A lot of them don’t really wake up until 3 p.m., because they can, so I end up just having to wait for my nocturnal friends to awaken to update them about how I am sitting around at home.

I’ve now officially finished high school. The grand finale, such as it was, was surprisingly underwhelming. Rather than a big ceremony, it ended up being boiled down to hitting send on my last final. It still hasn’t fully hit me yet, and I feel like it won’t until there’s a proper graduation ceremony. I even got my cap and gown and decorated my cap with a bass clef because I’m going to be a music major in college.

It’s exciting to run around the house in it since it’s so soft and comfy. By the time you read this, I will have worn it for its intended purpose. Maybe.

Img 1236The school also recently put out the video for senior awards and scholarships, which are usually ceremonies held in person. I ended up preferring the video over an in-person gathering. It was much quicker, and it was fun to be able to sit at home with my family rather than having to be quiet in a big room.

We clapped and cheered for friends who won scholarships (and corrected name pronunciations) — things we couldn’t have done if it was in-person. It made it more enjoyable.

Prom has now officially been canceled. I am personally not that torn up about it since I’ve been before, and had a great time. I didn’t get a dress this year, but it’s too bad that people in my class won’t be able to experience it all together.

There was a lot of discussion about going through with it over the past couple months, but I had always thought there wouldn’t be a safe or easy way to make it work. Even if they were putting a prom on, I probably would rather play it safe and not go since it’s a big gathering with a lot of people standing pretty close together the whole night. As fun as the prom is, that sounds a bit like a recipe for contamination.

On a more positive note, my chops are getting good. With even more free time than ever, I’ve been able to work on more music-related stuff, like practicing my bass and trying to figure out how to properly use midis on Garageband and such.

I’m attending the Victor Wooten Bass Camp for the second year in a row. Last year it was in Nashville; this year it’s online. It’s been good to put more time into it before I (hopefully) head off to college to study music education.

If I didn’t miss being able to play in ensembles at school before, I certainly am now, since I know I’ll never be able to go back.

I’m really looking forward to taking my next step toward playing in different bands and combos in college, but I know it’ll take getting used to with an entirely new group of musicians. Playing alone at home on my own can be a challenge as a bass player. I’m used to backing other people up rather than being alone.

Overall, quarantine continues to have its ups and downs and downs, but I have a message for everyone: Start wearing a mask because if I have to spend my first college semester online and stuck at home, I’ll go crazy.

Katie Burke is a recent graduate of Timberlane Regional High School and plans to study music education at the University of Southern Maine in the fall. Or go crazy.

Categories: Senior Year Interrupted, Teens