LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Abbi Fister is heading to Wake Forest University as a STAMP scholar to major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She’d like to eventually attend medical school to focus on pediatrics, or dermatology. The Paul Dunbar High School senior has a lot to look forward to, but she’s still allowed to lament the things she’s lost.
“I know a lot of us were still hoping there’d be a chance to have a prom, or a high school graduation,” she said from the empty school parking lot on Tuesday.
One day earlier, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that Kentucky’s public schools would remain closed for the remainder of the school year, as the state simply isn’t ready to re-open those buildings given the circumstances surrounding our battle against COVID-19. The decision means thousands of the state’s high school seniors will be missing out on milestone events they’ve spent many years dreaming about, and working towards. And their parents will miss out too.
“Everyone is involved in all of these kids and their development, so it’s bittersweet but just trying to keep it positive,” said Abbi’s father, Eric.
The future doctor is trying doing that as well, understanding that their loss now, will be someone else’s gain.
“I do understand why all of these actions had to be taken to keep Kentuckians safe, so I just have to keep reminding myself of that,” she said.
Dunbar High School, like many others across the state, has put together an on-line slide show of each of the graduating seniors, complete with pictures and individual accomplishments, while listing their future plans and goals. It’s a nice tribute, but obviously not the equivalent of hopping into the limo on prom night, or walking in a graduation ceremony with your classmates. The class of 2020 will just have to take this one on the chin, tell their kids about it one day, and maybe even use this experience as part of a teaching moment for future generations. You know, the old “when-I-was-a-kid” teaching moment.
They can also take solace in the fact that their lives are really just beginning, and the events they are missing are just that; events. There will also be other milestones out there for them to reach.
“I’m really looking forward to that college graduation now,” Abbi joked.
In 2024, colleges and universities all over the world will be crammed with seniors who feel the same way.