High School Senior Class of 2020 interviews and COVID-19
Come join Lisa and George as they talk to Ryan Hernandez and a few of his friends about school being canceled during senior year. Come get a look at the backlash of this virus through the eyes of a teenager. The class of 2020 the first class to not walk the stage, not have a senior prom and possibly not be able to walk the stage to accept their diplomas.
Lisa: Hi welcome back to our view I’m Lisa Richart-Hernandez
George: And I’m George Hernandez
Lisa: And we are here today with our oldest son Ryan Hernandez who is a senior at Wando high school and since we’re quarantined in the house and have been for the past three weeks we decided what are we gonna talk about since there’s not a lot of travel talk to go on. but a big thing topic of conversation with Ryan and all of his friends is how this uh quarantine is affecting their senior year of high school so say hello to us Ryan.
Ryan: Hello I’m Ryan I’m the son of these two lovely people.
Lisa: um so tell us first off Ryan what are the biggest things that you feel like you’re missing out on your senior year of high school
Ryan: mainly just the experience right now because I mean it’s the senior year which is everything like that you’ve been waiting for all through high school and now that it’s just like not even there. and then on top of that prom is gone rugby season got canceled. and graduation is like a 50 50 shot right now
Lisa: yeah we don’t know anything about graduation yet, unfortunately. So uh I know Lauren your older sister USC who she’s a freshman but uh the graduating class there they’re gonna do that like at the end of August. So I’m wondering if maybe they’ll you know postpone high school graduation until before college starts or something I don’t know we can just hope I guess but would you want to uh walk on the stage and get your capping down is that a big deal to you?
Ryan: Yeah I mean even though the graduation ceremony is just about four hours long because of our uh the size of our class I do still want to walk across I mean everything that I’ve done through high school that’s
George: kind of like well you’ve been working at it for 12 years it would be nice to finally get to walk across the stage.
Lisa: yeah so I did see that they are still putting out the uh yearbook so that’s a good thing so they still have that for memories yeah uh tell us about your sports tell us about what happened with rugby and uh what’s going on?
Ryan: so we played our first tournament which is like our pre-season opener and we went up there we finished third which was okay we should have won it but and then we had a couple of practices and then the coronavirus came around and our coach was like well we’ve made a postponed practice for a while just to see how this goes and then once it got more serious they just canceled the season and nationals. Which they invited me to and then canceled the season two days later so that kind of sucked.
Lisa: So you’re getting looking forward to going to nationals as a senior playing on your rugby.
George: where were nationals this year?
Ryan: salt lake city Utah.
George: that would have been a nice trip also.
Lisa: yeah we were really looking forward to going to that uh we
George: were gonna go to every game this year
Lisa: yeah we were we’ve been trying to think ourselves like what can we do to celebrate what if your graduation is canceled and we don’t get to have your graduation party in June and we’ve got a family trip planned to the Dominican that might be canceled in June you know what would be doing you have any ideas of you know and thinking for other people that are out there now like what
George: what can we do to celebrate?
Lisa: what can we do to celebrate the seniors any ideas?
Lisa: have you and your friends talked about it at all
Ryan: no I mean I’ve thought about it a couple of times and kind of tried to think of what what we could do to celebrate it just because this is a time where we should all be having fun together but instead we’re locked in our houses for weeks at a time so I don’t know yet it’s a thought process we still got plenty of time to think about it.
George: so I heard you say the other day that I guess one of the thoughts was to since prom is also going to be canceled was to get a group of people and still get a prom house and kind of do your own small group prom were you saying something like that?
Ryan: yeah after the quarantine’s over
George: yeah yeah absolutely after quarantine um all of this is after quarantine
Ryan: I talked to some of the people in my prom house and we’re just thinking about it because I mean the senior prom is not something you can get to do whenever so we were just thinking I mean if there’s no prom I was thinking we could just still get a house and just do a little dance maybe here or something or someone’s house nothing big or anything but just celebrate it with like our close friend group.
Lisa: so for the people that don’t live in Charleston South Carolina explain to us what a prom house is?
Ryan: um a prom house is basically like a big group of friends will rent alike either a beach house well mainly a beach house but some people just get a rental house for the weekend with the chaperone and someone to sign off on the house so we’ll go there because that Friday before prom is like the designated senior skip day so all the seniors go to their prompt house that Thursday night and then we hang out Thursday Friday and then Saturday everyone goes like the girls go to one house and the guys go to one house and they all get ready for prom and then typically like a party bus or something there and we split all that evening amongst the people in the house.
George: my oh my how proms have changed
Lisa: Yeah I don’t know we used to just do different parties and stuff but never like we didn’t live at the beach so I guess we didn’t have the beach house
George: We were close to the beach but we did prom basically rented a limo he went to the prom and then what we did was the next morning everybody got together had breakfast and then we all just went to the beach but we didn’t have a prom house for five days yes
Lisa: kids are like they make a big deal out of it so maybe that’ll be a good thing to do to celebrate though yeah I can see that being good getting dressed up and going out to dinner.
Ryan: yeah because I mean most people at this point have already ordered their prom dresses and suits and tuxedos and all that because I mean we were a month out when they canceled everything so.
Lisa: yeah so we’re going to get some of your other friends on the line to talk to them about their biggest things that they missed for their senior year but before we get into that tell us if you have any lessons that you have learned over that you want to look back when you’re listening to this podcast you know several years from now and
you’re like I learned that lesson from the quarantine what lesson have you maybe learned from being trapped in the house for the last three weeks.
Ryan: oh wow that’s a tough one I mean I really haven’t done a whole lot but I would probably say just being able to motivate yourself to do something like anything at all like I’ve gotten to the point where I’ll just go and work out and run around just because there’s nothing better to do.
George: so I was gonna say I’ve seen you outside running I’ve seen you doing wind sprints
Ryan: yeah just running outside getting exercise because I mean you might as well because you’re not doing anything else and if you just sit inside eating all the time you’re just going to get all big anyways so got to keep it motivated.
George: I resemble that remark!
Lisa: well let’s see if we can get some of these friends on the line.
George: all right sounds good! Who are we gonna call first Ryan?
George: all right we’re gonna try and reach out to daniel right now so please hold on.
Lisa: hey daniel this is Lisa Richart-Hernandez I’m ryan’s mom thanks so much for joining us on our podcast today. Ryan has been telling us all about you so we just wanted to get your input as a senior at Wando high school on how things are affecting you during this quarantine tell us a little bit about uh what you’re missing from your senior year?
Daniel: So it’s definitely been I wouldn’t say like a challenge it’s just uh something new to deal with that I guess everyone’s kind of feeling the same way with just having to stay home and everything but I mean one thing I definitely have been missing is uh like a set schedule that you get with going to school and having sports every day it’s definitely I’ve had um I had to get used to kind of creating my own schedule now that we’re off to school and everything.
Lisa: so do you have brothers and sisters at home or is it just you?
Daniel: uh yes ma’am I have a younger sister who goes to Wanda she’s a sophomore and then an older brother who um is in college at Clemson and uh so they’re all home now so it’s a packed house.
Lisa: Yeah that’s kind of like us around here right now.
George: sounds familiar yeah
Lisa: so I think that’s a really good point and that’s something that Ryan said earlier when we were talking to Ryan was like you know I get up in the morning at eight o’clock cause I’ve always been like an early bird is sleeping in for me and then I do my homework and then 45 minutes later I’m done with my work for the day you know it’s like trying to figure out what to do all day to keep yourselves busy and he’s been doing some exercising and stuff so are you you’re on the rugby team with Ryan is that right?
Daniel: yes ma’am has been on the player with Ryan for four years since uh freshman year I believe
George: okay so do you feel like you’ve been ripped off because you’re missing your senior year of playing rugby and senior year of high school that would really suck!
Daniel: Oh it’s definitely been it’s been hard to cope like because you always think and especially at the beginning of this year you know you go into it saying this is our senior year it’s gonna be a great year we’re finally the leaders on the team and having that get cut short was definitely hard to handle because the last game we played you don’t even know it like we didn’t even know it was the last game looking back now you know you always wish that oh if I knew that was the last time I would have gotten to play with Rwanda rugby you know I would have tried a little bit harder done a little bit more because uh you know I guess normally if the season would have progressed we would have gotten a chance to play in um in mount pleasant we would have gotten a chance to have like a senior day I guess.
Lisa: um and were you planning on going to nationals too?
Daniel: yes ma’am I was
Lisa: oh that’s a bummer too did you go last year?
Daniel: I did yeah that last year was so fun and I guess yeah we never really got a chance to prove ourselves um basically I guess because we had that tournament at mugger fest and I felt as if we played really well and we were definitely improving we had room to improve and so I felt like we definitely would have shown out really well at nationals and now we don’t get that chance it’s definitely a bummer.
Ryan: yeah and another thing to back him on that was last year we lost 12 out of like the starting 15 players so everyone just kind of thought that our team wasn’t going to be all that great and then we kind of pulled it together and played really well.
Daniel: oh definitely and speaking on that you know we had so many seniors last year a lot of people that i looked up to and i still look up to and this year was kind of our year to be the leaders on the team and kind of lead the younger kids and kind of have our legacy remembered and you know how we don’t really get that opportunity which is definitely kind of sucks!
George: daniel are you going to college?
Daniel: yes sir I’m going to Clemson in the fall.
George: Have you heard anything from Clemson as far as are they delaying anything Ryan’s going to be going to coastal campus visitors basically yeah basically everything’s kind of everything’s still a go until further notice right?
Daniel: yeah right yeah the only thing I’ve really heard is kind of the tours like I guess people visiting in the spring definitely had to cancel those and yeah I know they do some summer programs for like people that like uh want to get used to being in the college atmosphere I don’t know what they’re doing with that if they’re gonna switch to online. from what I’ve heard it’s still a go for the fall that’s what I’m planning on at least so.
George: Yeah I think all the colleges are kind of not making any decisions until it gets a little closer to time to make a decision I know Ryan’s sister goes to USC and they’ve canceled all classes and she’s doing everything online right now so it’s just it’s an interesting time with all these cancellations and kids at home and you know our house is packed sounds like your house are packed and it’s fun for a little while and then all sudden it’s like okay what the heck are we doing now?
Daniel: I think that was definitely the vibe for at least like the first week it was kind of like oh we don’t have a school like oh I get to sleep in. I get to kind of slack off a little bit but then once it kind of got to a point where it’s like oh wow this is actually serious this is we’re gonna have to deal with this for an extended period of time so at the beginning, I at least didn’t really know the extent of how serious it was and now it’s uh it’s been tough to kind of.
George: yeah we were talking with Ryan earlier about that and um I asked him if teenagers have a different mentality and it kind of sounds like they do kind of that invincible mentality that oh we’re not in the age bracket where it’s going to kill us where it’s not going to affect us blah blah blah and they’re still hanging out and I said to Ryan well the problem with that is you you may be right in that aspect but then you’re bringing it home and me being an older guy I don’t want you guys bringing it home got to keep that in mind for everybody out there.
Daniel: hey yeah exactly that and that was one of the hard parts for me at least learning about it because for that like the first week or so you know I kind of did have that mentality like oh yeah classes are canceled they’re all online um I can still go out and do stuff because it’s not affecting me personally. but once it got a little bit more serious I started getting a little bit more information on the subject t has kind of um changed my perspective on yeah I need to be a lot mindful for not myself but definitely the people that I’m around and like my family
George: yeah exactly
Lisa: yeah for sure so after all this is over do you guys have any uh ideas or have you thought of any things that you want to do when you’re free to go back out into the world like do you want to try to have some we’re thinking graduation may very well be canceled for you guys which seems like a real bummer I can’t imagine it at this point still going on um with as much as they’ve canceled but have you guys thought of any alternative ideas like Ryan was talking about you know maybe we’ll still get a prom house and have made up our own prom one day or something.
Daniel: Yeah that’s a that’s a good idea no my mom is definitely I’m trying to talk to her about that and uh I mean I guess one of the hardest things about this whole situation is you don’t necessarily know when it’s going to end so it’s hard to plan for stuff like uh with our prom house obviously we had to cancel that I think we’re trying to move it towards the summer which I don’t really know all the logistics involved with that but we’re trying to at least save a little bit of that maybe have f it’s over by a graduate if this is the quarantine everything is over maybe try to do something like that because it was definitely something I was looking forward to and I would hate to just not do anything that makes sense.
Lisa: yeah yeah for sure that’s what that’s kind of what Ryan was saying to us earlier as well. so well just to kind of wrap it up like uh you’ve been quarantined and you said the hardest thing was getting used to you know making a schedule and stuff so you’ve been home now for I guess almost three weeks right haven’t we been yeah I think it’s three weeks yeah if there were any lessons that you’ve learned in this time what would those lessons be that when you listen back to this podcast you know a few years from now and think oh my gosh I can’t believe I went through that and I remember when I learned this what like what fewer life lessons I’ve maybe learned from this experience.
Daniel: I think the biggest thing that I’ve taken from this especially being a senior um not getting all those opportunities to like walkthrough Wando for the last time or with that without with like knowing is your last time is you can’t really take anything for granted per se so you gotta go into everything thinking as this may well be the last time I step onto the field to play with my teammates or this might be the last time I get to drive my sister to school um not taking things for granted. I definitely was especially with rugby you know you don’t think that it’s going to be your last time and then all of a sudden you don’t get another chance I guess
Lisa: Yeah I guess that’s a really really really good life lesson I guess and you’re learning at a young age always tell the kids always do your best why would you not always do your best and make the best of every day and not worry about the little things
George: And it’s funny how a lot of times you don’t realize how good or how much fun it is until it’s taken away from you and just listening to you I can tell from you and Ryan that you know you guys weren’t taking rugby for granted and you weren’t taking school for granted but you really weren’t really appreciating the magnitude of senior year.
And now that it’s taken away from you it’s like oh my god you know that like you just said this that might have been the last time that I ever walked into this high school was the day when I went to pick up my stuff out of my locker. This might have been the last game I ever played as a high school rugby player but you didn’t realize it and now that it’s taken away from you it’s like you’ve got to have a sense of being robbed neglected I don’t know I mean I feel so bad for these kids because I had a great senior year I love my senior year in high school and if that had been taken away from me I oh my god I just can’t even imagine how you guys really feel?
Ryan: I think with us it was just it’s hard to almost take it for like granted because we planned on like going into the end of the year and then that’s when we kind of did all those things like oh this is the last time I’m gonna do this and then especially with rugby I mean we only played our preseason tournament which wasn’t and we were supposed to play like some top-level teams which everyone was excited for because we were up there with them and it was just
George: right you got a great team plus you guys are seniors and like you said before that this is your year to be the man on the field and teach the young guys and I don’t even know I mean I feel so bad for you guys just kind of
Daniel: yeah the larger scale like when you think about it like from a big picture it doesn’t seem like our complaints you know of not having a senior year on like a bigger scale doesn’t seem s bad because it can always be worse I guess but at the same time it’s like man everyone else gets to have this experience everyone else gets to have like their time to be a senior whereas now it does it was taken away so it seems selfish but I guess in the big picture it doesn’t necessarily matter but it definitely is some of those like memories taken away I guess.
George: it does matter though those are you this is your senior year you know and it’s totally out of your control it’s nothing you guys did nd I think everyone’s handling it yeah everybody’s handling it well and you’ll get over it and you’ll have one hell of a story to tell your kids
Lisa: it’ll be uh make college graduation even that much better how’s that oh yeah one way to think of is we’re the only class that didn’t actually graduate so we could always be like those kids
George: Yeah and it’s not going to be just you guys it’s the whole country
Ryan: yeah exactly the 2020 class
Lisa: Thanks so much for talking with us today daniel we appreciate it and
Daniel: no problem
Lisa: yeah we will talk to you soon
Daniel: all right it’s good to talk to you guys thanks
George: Ryan why don’t you tell us who we have on the phone right now.
Ryan: we have my friend Drew Coleman we’ve been friends since uh like fifth grade I think.
George: so drew what do you think you’re missing your senior year because of the coronavirus
Drew: uh well I mean luckily for me our season was over so I’m not missing really anything sports-wise I’m definitely gonna miss we already our prom is canceled our graduation’s already canceled so I mean I don’t really get to walk across the stage I mean not at all for high school I mean hopefully for college but you know my I won’t have like a graduation party probably or any of that stuff like my sister did when she graduated three years ago and just kind of I don’t know it kind of sucks I mean I feel like even I’m not really going to have a summer before we go off o college because of the coronavirus.
George: right that seems to be the recurring theme from everybody that you guys almost it’s almost like you you ere shortchanged you worked so hard to get to the senior year you worked so hard sports-wise education-wise and all of sudden it’s just the rug has been pulled out from under your feet.
Drew: I mean I seriously I can’t even imagine how I mean I’ve heard that like NCAA has given you know eligibility back for like seniors and stuff or players because you know I mean think about all the people that were supposed to play march madness and all you know baseball’s cut short right now football I mean they’re talking about football even which is a while from now but
George: I know, so I’ve heard that also that colleges are thinking about giving seniors another shot at heir senior year all right well what about the sophomores and the juniors they’re supposed to come up to a senior year, and now the seniors are taking another year to be seniors
Ryan: couldn’t they do it more as like the seniors just add another year of school and have a year of eligibility but everyone else is still coming up
Drew: I think but I also heard that the NCAA is talking about giving like all college athletes another year like you get another you don’t have to do a school another year but you get another year of eligibility no matter what.
George: ah sorry okay so everybody gets a buy year?
Drew: that’s what I read online
George: oh okay all right that would kind of make sense to give everybody an equal chance because if I was a junior and I’m getting ready to be a senior and all of a sudden they say wait the seniors are coming back I would be like wait a minute it’s my year to be a senior I don’t want you guys coming back so if they say to me you can have another year I would be okay with that
Drew: let’s see two things I’ll say real quick too s so my cousin hunter he re-class and he’s in our grade but he should be a freshman in college but he actually so he’s walking on he’s gonna be at quarterback at Clemson next year so he got an um he got a preferred walk-on scholarship there so they’re not doing any spring practices or anything right now so he’s having I was just with him yesterday working out and his workouts are like everybody else that’s like being at Clemson they know how to work out because they’ve you know been with the program but him coming from a high school like he doesn’t know.
George: he doesn’t have a clue
Drew: he has no clue what it’s going to be like
George: it’s so funny because there are so many things you don’t think about like that’s a perfect example of nobody thinks about that all right so your cousin is expecting to come up and train with all the football players and everybody and get into the habit of whatever their training is and also nobody’s there?
George: that’s brutal!
Drew: i know in his so his workouts and stuff they’re sending it to him guess virtually but I mean Clemson’s like I mean obviously they’re you know top-ranked in the nation it doesn’t matter any d1 college I mean the athletics and stuff it’s gonna be insane like the workouts and stuff but hen he’s having to do them at home with him it’s not like he has a gym at his house so
George: right but at the same token it’s like he’s never done it before so how do you?
Ryan: they don’t know he doesn’t know their standards
George: right exactly
Drew: not at all oh that’s so he’s gonna get there and think he’s doing it right and they’re just right and they’ll be like yeah dude no he’s yeah he’s gonna die
George: oh that sucks
Drew: well and one more thing about like the NCAA that I’ve read so another thing thank all the seniors in high school that are going to be coming up so think about like a Kentucky next year the teams are going to be a lot more stacked next year especially in basketball because these kids didn’t get to play march madness for the first time most of them are gonna come back so the teams next year are gonna be all
George: everything’s stacked there’s gonna be five years worth of players there well you got true seniors and you’re gonna have backup seniors because they’re seniors that are coming back so it’s like oh my god wow five years that’s pretty interesting I see drew brought up a whole new perspective on this thing.
Drew: yeah yeah it’s gonna be it’s gonna be kind of cool but I don’t know how it’s gonna affect basketball and sports in general next year.
George: wow so throughout this whole coronavirus are there any lessons that you’ve learned for example we’re like on lockdown we’re trying to do everything we can around the house where we’re trying to be as safe as possible trying not to spread it to anybody else have you learned anything from this
Drew: i mean me personally it is I mean my sister is usually in college not used to being home for this long she hasn’t been home in a while
George: i think everybody’s at that same place
Drew: yeah yeah it’s just uh like my dad lives on daniel island and so it’s kind of hard to go back and forth and they argue sometimes just about like they’re like oh we don’t want to spread it we don’t want to do this do that because you know that my dad’s on you know his side of the cousins and my mom has been around like er dad but my mom who goes and sees her dad, my grandpa, as every day has only seen him once because right he’s 79 years old and she’s terrified that you know he already has respiratory issues.
George: And that’s that’s a very interesting point and that’s what I try to tell Ryan and all the teenagers here in this house they’re all like I wanna go hang out with my friends and I wanna go this and I wanna go there and I’m like you guys can go do whatever you want but you gotta remember that I’m the old guy here at the house so whatever you bring home could potentially kill me.
it may not kill you because you’re young you’re strong you’re vibrant ut this coronavirus seems like it’s affecting the older generation more because we all already have underlying issues uh whether it’s respiratory whether it’s cardiac whatever it is if you bring it home and that’s what I tell the kids just think about that if if you bring it home you may kill me how would you like that on your conscience and it sucks I hate to do that to him but you know just stay home it’ll be over and once it’s over we can all go back to our life as usual all right um apparently you guys will probably not have prom, so are do you have any backup plans?
Drew: I mean I actually know um one of my friends her name is Britain she is homeschooled she’s been home for like the last two years and she was gonna do like her own little prom so like you know rent out a house for one night like a prom house not really a prom so much she was saying that her parents would be there and everybody would go and then you know to dress up and come to this house I think she’s on folly beach or something.
I guess just like hang out and then you know I think what she said was boys to sleep on one side of the house girls in the other and her parents are staying there too so it’s kind of like a prom house for a one-day thing but that was also before you know we were on lockdown and stuff but I think she’s still trying to do it just later in the summer but I guess I mean that would be better than not having any problem at all
because I mean
George: no exactly
Drew: yeah but prom last year was like the first time is always I had the best for me and I went as a junior and I mean not everybody had that opportunity I mean I would love to go again as a senior but I’m more upset about graduation that I am prom honestly.
George: right everybody’s worked so hard to walk across that stage and that’s being taken away from you I just still cannot wrap my head around it.
Drew: I know especially all the people that took that extra class to get a cord you know Wanda or any of that stuff I mean they’re probably kicking herself right now okay it’s still kind of hard to fathom
George: it’s unbelievable honestly I just can’t I still can’t wrap my head around it but like I said to Ryan you will have one hell of a story to tell your grandkids the class of 2020 never graduated hey grandpa did you graduate from high school no. we were fighting off yeah we were fighting off the virus zombies we were fighting zombies what were you doing?
Ryan: that’s what I keep hearing people were like you know everybody keeps saying how bad 2020 has been like what’s about to happen next.
George: yeah it’ll get better we’ll get through this and everybody’s doing their part to stay home and I mean we’re doing everything we can we’ve kind of pretty much shut down all the friends visiting and everybody coming over and I think a lot of parents have done the same thing and that’s what we got to do unfortunately that’s what we got to do but when this is all over this is kind of why we’re having the interview we want to what can we do for you guys because we feel as parents I know I feel terrible that you guys are your senior years being cut short and we’ll do something for you guys.
All right drew well I certainly appreciate you coming on and giving us your take on this coronavirus and what it’s like to be a senior in high school during the coronavirus.
Drew: yes sir thank you
George: thank you Drew take care buddy
Drew: you too
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