File #224: "scsm-101-11-fall-2020-021.pdf"

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Unmasking My Truth
This pandemic has been an experience like no other. It sent the world into panic and forced people to
adjust in ways that we have never seen before. Adults were forced to work from home, and many lost
their jobs, while students were sent home from school for what would end up being the duration of the
school year. I was one of those many students that was set to graduate in 2020 and make their summer
going into college the best yet. Unfortunately, my senior year was cut short, graduation was celebrated
through the passenger seat of a car, my summer was spent wearing a mask, and somehow this new way
of living through a pandemic became somewhat normal. However, what students like me had to endure
this year is unheard of and the complete opposite of normal. No prom, no celebrating, no gatherings, no
way to live as freely as we did in the past. Throughout this series of photographs it will become very
clear of exactly how unusual life has been from the point I left high school in March to when I arrived to
college in August.

Decision Day

Decision day for most seniors occurs on May 1st. It’s usually a day for
students to announce what they want to do after high school, and most
importantly, it happens in school. Nothing was normal about my situation
though. I decided that I would continue my education at Springfield in my
house surrounded by my immediate family. It was strange to not be with
my classmates in our college sweatshirts, and celebrating our futures but
this was what Covid-19 had done to me and every senior in
Massachusetts.

Graduation
Graduation was unique in every sense of the
word. My high school set up a “drive up”
ceremony for my classmates and I. Teachers
and staff sat along the driving route to
encourage us through the windows of our cars.
As students, we could only wave and look at
the people that supported us from a distance.
All sitting 6 feet apart, it was difficult to really
see what the world had come to. I drove up to
the stage at the end of the route, got out of my
car, received my diploma from my principal
and went home. In a matter of 20 seconds, I
had graduated high school in a way I never
thought was possible.

A Summer full of “Hanging Out”
Summer was supposed to be fun, exciting, and full of
memories with friends. This image is a display of how my
friends and I spent time together during the quarantine
phase of Covid-19. In order to stay socially distanced, we met
up at our old elementary school and stayed in our cars in
order to communicate with each other. It was strange and
challenging at first so we had to improvise the best we could
even though it seemed like we were all trapped. However, it
taught us all a valuable lesson about how important it is to
appreciate life without policies like social distancing and
wearing masks.

A Quiet Vacation
During this pandemic, a vacation was crucial to
relieve built up stress from everything going on
with school and life in general. It was
questionable if a vacation was even an option
because of the travel guidelines that Covid
required us to follow. This picture was taken in
York, Maine of what is usually a jam packed
boardwalk on a beach. I was fortunate enough to
go but many people weren’t and this is shown
here. There is nobody around me, and there are
very few people in the distance. The lack of
people changed the normal vacation experience
but it still made it just as memorable.

College: A New Beginning
Arriving on campus was an unforgettable experience.
My mom and I took the hour and a half drive from my
hometown to campus, and had no idea what to expect.
We got here and the first thing I had to do was get
tested for coronavirus. After my test I moved into my
dorm and took a quick walk around campus. It felt
empty and quiet, and nothing close to what I imagined
my first day on campus to be like. I remember walking
by the James Naismith statue and seeing the mask on
his face, I was amazed that this was going to be the
reality of life for the foreseeable future.