The day is Thursday, March 12th, 2020. You wake up and start your morning routine, mentally preparing for just another day at school. Little do you know from this point on, your life will be changed forever. It is sixth period, and you are shuffling out of calculus, eager for the day to be over. But the hallways are more exciting than usual. Everyone seems to be buzzing with anticipation. You ask a nearby friend what’s going on? He says, “‘You haven’t heard the news? We’re off from school for two weeks.’” Then it all clicks. The news reports from February and the people who were infected with this new virus. You think they are calling it Covid. It is finally here. At first, everyone thought it was a good thing- just two weeks off from school until it calms down. Then you will be back just in time to finish your senior year. Right?
Unfortunately, this optimistic belief was wrong. And sadly, this experience was reality for many students across the United States, including Smithtown West senior Trevor Ellick. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to ask Trevor a few questions on how he was able to cope with the unfortunate loss of his senior year, sports season, and how he managed to keep a positive attitude during these difficult times.
Trevor said he was lucky to have an unaffected first three terms. He regrets not having a Journalism Club send-off where he would sign the wall in the journalism classroom. This act is a symbol of the success of the production manager and represents a strong leader for the journalism team. He also missed out on his senior season of lacrosse and many tournaments where he would have been able to film for his high school highlight reels and could have been scouted out by other colleges. As much as he wanted that final quarter, he was grateful for what he had during his senior year.
During this difficult time, Trevor wished he could have his senior year send-off since he put in an immense amount of hard work and effort into the journalism club. To Trevor, his senior send-off was the reward or prize after all the hours he poured into his work. As someone in the journalism club, he dedicated an immense amount of work to better our newspaper and morning news. The same goes for his lacrosse team. After early morning practices, Trevor put personal time into improving his skills even though there was no season or senior ceremony.
By the end of senior year, Trevor tried to contribute as much as he could. He wanted to improve and help develop the Journalism program at West, which he most certainly did the best he could, given the circumstances.
Another one of his goals was to bring a County win home with his Lacrosse team for the last season he could play with his friends. Sadly, a lot of those goals were unreachable. All spring sports were canceled due to rising infection rates all over the country.
Some people say, “so what, you lost a couple of months of your fourth year of high school, no big deal.” As much as I am sure everyone wants it to be that unproblematic, It just is not that simple. The virus is projected to affect us for the next three years. During my interview with Trevor, he said that his college, as an athlete-based school, has made multiple covid-related regulations. For example, he does temperature checks every day, there are only three people allowed at each table in the dining hall, practices are socially distanced, and equipment used is sprayed down and sanitized after every use.
One good thing that came from quarantine was that Trevor talked to his friends more. Before the pandemic, his friends were preoccupied with grades, sports, and clubs. He reconnected with his friends and caught up before they all parted ways to go to college. Another positive spin that Trevor brought up is how much his mental state changed during quarantine. He says he appreciates every moment playing lacrosse. Trevor did not know if he was allowed to play in college, which enabled him to be thankful for every second Trevor was on the field. Fortunately, Trevor was granted the chance to play on his college team at Keiser University, allowing him to get the season he wanted.
The coronavirus has affected everyone in countless ways. More often than not negatively. However, if you think positively, it allows you to see how much you have grown as a person and bring a new perspective, just as Trevor did. It might make it easier to cope with the overwhelming changes in our lives.