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The LEAP Student Blog

Dear Class of 2020

Tate McReynolds
Gig Harbor High School, Class of 2020

People always ask me what it’s like being a twin, and I’ve always said it's the best thing in the entire world - except for when he eats the last scoop of ice cream, changes the TV channel, or comes to my room just to flick the light switch to annoy me, of course. The thing about having a twin is, I’ve never known what it’s like to not be a twin. I’ve always had someone to play with, to talk with, or annoy. Everything I did growing up, I did it with him. I’ve never really thought what it's like not to have him around, because it seemed like something that would never happen. I guess my younger self just always pictured him in my future. But now, my older, some would say wiser, self has realized that a time is coming where we’ll have to say goodbye, and I don’t think I’ll fully comprehend it until we go our separate ways.

...and then COVID-19 comes in, and suddenly flips the last four months of my senior year upside down (and maybe even backwards).

For the record, senior year gets way more hype than it deserves. Yes, its fun and everything, but what it really is is chaotic. The first two months of senior year are basically the freakout stage, with football games mixed in and everyone fighting to get the best spots in the student section, to the winter, where for me consists of basketball, basketball, and a little more basketball, but for everyone else consists of everything college, and then theres the spring. The absolute best time of year for everyone in high school, senior or not.

For seniors, the last three months of school is when everything starts to feel more real with the future creeping up, yet everyone just wants to freeze. Freeze in the parking lot after school talking to our friends, freeze going out to Costco every Friday at lunch, freeze that one class where you have all your friends in it, freeze that last practice or game, and freeze the moment you realize it’s all coming to an end.

The thing is, with COVID-19, we did exactly that: we froze. Our whole town stopped, and we stopped just like that, no yellow light or anything. And I think its a good thing we stopped. Not only to control the spread of this virus, and protect people who need protection, but also because the realization finally hit.  I won’t get my name announced on Senior Night in my last home fast pitch game. I can’t go visit my junior friends at lunch. I can’t talk to my digital photography teacher about the Bachelor. I can’t walk through the halls during passing period. I won’t get to watch the baseball team on the weekends. I can’t jam out in the car on the way to lunch with my best friends. I won’t be able to watch my boyfriend compete for a shot put State Title. I won’t get to experience nerf wars, or prom, the last day of school. And lastly, I won’t be able to walk with my twin at graduation.  And what do I have to say to all of that, and the countless other memories I’ll be missing out on?   It is what it is. I think what my friends, and other seniors around the state, around the country even, are stuck with the fact that it’s not in our control. It simply, just is what it is.

The cool thing though, is that with all this unknown, things could change, and maybe we will get a prom, or a spring sports season- and that’s why we, as the Class of 2020, haven’t given up.  This is history.  We’re a part of something the world has never seen before. We never thought our senior year of high school would end up like this. It could’ve happened anywhere, anytime, but it happened to us. And I’d like to think it happened to us for a reason. We’re a part of something bigger than ourselves now - something we’ll look back on at our high school reunions, and realize that all we’re missing out on now, is the hope for our future.  My advice to other high school seniors:  Make the most of the situation we’re in, because we’re in it for a reason.

And lastly, my advice to other high school seniors who have a twin:  Now seems like the perfect time to eat the last scoop of ice cream, change the TV channel, and go flick your twins’ lights off, because this time next year, you’ll have already said goodbye.


From: Emily Shields 3/31/2020 12:53 pm

This is big time Tate! Made me appreciate having a twin by my side for all these years. Thinking of you and all the seniors during this time.

From: Kathy May 4/1/2020 3:57 pm

Well said, Tate! I look forward to the day when you come back to visit us at Goodman and we can catch up on what this all looks like once it's in the rearview mirror - and I hope your brother comes with you!

March 2020

3/31/2020 Dear Class of 2020
3/29/2020 We're All Doing Our Part
3/26/2020 Reach Out to Someone
3/22/2020 Control What You Can Control

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