SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The spring of a high school senior’s school year is normally filled with prom, one last shot at a state championship and saying goodbye to long-time friends. But seniors of the 2020 class will have a much different story that only their class will be able to relate to their whole lives.
“We never got to say goodbye to the people that we will never see again because we never got to go back to school,” says Jahmaine Griego-Billingsley, a graduating senior at Alta High School. “So it is kind of hard cause we just have this feeling of not knowing how everything would have turned out and that’s the biggest thing. The feeling of how it could have been different.”
Greigo-Billingsley is a part of the 2020 class that will never get to experience graduation among other things. He is a a football and lacrosse player at Alta High School and was looking forward to his senior year of lacrosse.
Griego-Billingsley said he had a few college coaches lined up to come watch him and his team play…but that will never happen now.
“That was probably one of the worst feelings I have felt in a really long time,” he says of his final lacrosse season being cancelled. “Especially because my sophomore year, we won one game. Then my junior year we won over half of our games and then this year was supposed to be our year.”
Griego-Billingsley said that him and his teammates worked to mold their team and truly believed that this spring was their season to win a state championship.
“So my senior year was going to be us out there and showing what we can do and now we no longer have that option. All that work was pretty much for nothing.”
While Jahmaine says that he knows of efforts going around to hold a drive-by or virtual graduation, he says that the feelings of many of his classmates are to just postpone graduation because they all want to be together one last time.
And while Griego-Billingsley notes that not many people can relate to what his class is going through right now, he does have some advice, “I just want to let people know that if you know seniors, please just talk to them and make sure that they are doing alright. It is a tough time, it’s not something that should be taken lightly.”
Griego-Billingsley has said he has seen a few silver-linings throughout his experience with the coronavirus but having this all happen during his senior year has still been a tough pill to swallow.
“My overall feeling has just been sadness,” says Griego-Billingsley. “For these last 17 years, it was leading up to graduation. (There is) lots of sadness and not regret, but just like wishing you could have finished it. Lots of wondering what it would have been like. And although it sucks, there is nothing that we can really do about it. So we just got to keep our head up and make the best of it.”
Jahmaine plans to attend Weber State in the fall and wants to double major in political science and criminal justice. He also plans to minor in psychology.
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