Hello and welcome to my blog: Senioritis! My name is Carmon. I am the Web Editor of the Dart and, as I think you could have gathered from my blog’s name, a senior. This year, the Class of 2021 is undergoing something that no other class has ever experienced: we are spending our entire senior year in a pandemic. Every class is going through their own trials and tribulations right now, but I believe that the senior class has been affected by COVID-19 in a way that no other has, as we try to transition into adulthood in such an unstable world.
So it’s been a challenge. We’ve missed out on dances and ceremonies and traditions, essentially most of the things that were supposed to define our last year of high school. But not everything has been bad. And that’s what I plan on exploring in this blog: the complexities of our ever-changing world and high school experience. I will write about the election, our senior traditions, the college admissions process and more in the context of COVID-19, showcasing both the good and the bad, and hopefully providing a little bit of insight for anyone who is going through something similar right now (no matter your grade or age). I really look forward to going through this year with you, and I hope that you will stay tuned!
Today, I am going to write about the election. But first, a few disclaimers: I am writing this blog before the election. However, you are most likely reading it after it has occurred. In addition, as a journalist during an extremely bipartisan time, I want to stay politically neutral in my blog so that I can appeal to as many people as possible. I will not be endorsing a candidate or stating specific political views, but rather writing about my hopes for the future of our country.
Something that I think a lot of seniors can relate to during an election year is being asked if they can vote. Every few days, I get asked this question. And every few days, I must answer by telling the inquirer that, no, I do not turn 18 until February. If you know me, you know that I am a strong supporter of lowering the voting age, but the fact of the matter is that it is 18, so I cannot vote in this election. There is so much up in the air right now, especially with COVID-19, that I feel almost hopeless that I cannot vote. I feel like I do not have a say in the world that I am going to have to live in until the next election, which is incredibly frustrating, and I am sure that a lot of teenagers right now would agree.
If you’re reading this after the election, the winner may have been announced already. Or it may have been delayed due to mail-in voting. If it hasn’t or if it has, regardless of which candidate wins, I want to encourage you to listen. Watching the presidential debates, I have been horrified to see the men that are supposed to be leading our country screaming at each other on television. I truly believe that we all just need to take a step back and listen. There are so many things happening in the world right now: COVID-19 and racism and women’s rights issues and more. But nothing is going to be done to solve these issues if everyone is too busy arguing over trivial things. So be open. Don’t be afraid to have an honest conversation. And know that it is okay to change your opinions or beliefs if something on the other side appeals to you. It’s never too late to make a difference in our country. To my classmates who can vote this year, I hope you did and had an amazing experience. I know that I am personally looking forward to seeing how everything plays out.
As this blog is very senior-centric, I am going to end each post with a piece of advice to underclassmen. I am by no means an expert, but these are things that I wish someone would have told me as a freshman or sophomore. My first piece of advice is: remember that you are allowed to be a teenager. I think that the weight of the world often gets placed on the shoulders of our generation. I read a quote a few days ago that said that our generation will be remembered as the one that had to grow up too fast, and I completely agree. So yes, climate change is going to become irreversible in the next few years. Yes, there are serious problems with our government and society. And, yes, you do have to study for the ACT. And while these things are so important, and we should continue to fight for what is right, it is always acceptable to just take the time to enjoy your life as a teenager. Spend time with your friends (make sure to wear a mask!). Read a good book. Go explore the world. And make sure you aren’t growing up too fast.