The Riverside Class of 2020 was unable to finish or graduate high school in-person in the spring due to COVID-19, and it has greatly impacted many of them.
Jordan Landis is currently living on campus at UNC-Charlotte, where she is studying Civil and Environmental Engineering and taking all online classes. Landis is on the Cross Country team this season so there are especially strict COVID guidelines she must follow.
Landis said, “We aren’t allowed to visit friends or family outside of our team bubble and we have to get COVID tested three times a week.”
This summer she took the social distancing measures very seriously. She felt like she never had closure for the four years she spent at Riverside.
“Not having that last summer before college to see my friends or take those trips really sucked.”
Emma Meece is living on Campbell University’s campus and is taking a combination of online and in person classes, working towards her Pre-Nursing major.
She said, “It’s harder to get to know people in classes because everyone is sitting farther apart and has a mask on, but easier to meet people in my dorm because we are all lacking friends from class.”
Meece has spent a lot of time these last couple of months hanging in hammocks, being outside with friends, and eating ice cream.
Even though COVID has been a big inconvenience to her, she took on the challenge this summer and spent a lot of her time volunteering to help provide food for DPS families.
Sharonda Daniels is living on North Carolina State University’s campus and is working to graduate with a major in Computer Science. The college experience has been boring to her so far.
“At first things were exciting but as cases came about, everything moved online and everyone moved out,” said Daniels, “Now it feels like a ghost town here.”
Reflecting on the spring, Daniels said, “It definitely feels disappointing, but I understand why it had to be that way.”
Reese Powell is studying Geological Sciences at UNC Chapel Hill. He was only able to be on campus for about a week and a half before there were massive COVID outbreaks. Now Powell is currently living in an apartment off campus. While he has not tested positive for the virus, almost his entire suite has.
He said, “Compared to how COVID affected many others, I think I have been pretty lucky.”
For Powell, online classes have been the biggest challenge for him. He said, “I feel like I am just submitting assignments rather than learning and improving.”
His summer plans included being a camp counselor at Chestnut Ridge. “We were blessed enough to be able to have camp this summer, but it was modified and a lot smaller due to COVID.”