Fear of uncertainty

Ella Moriarty

I was in history class March 11, and I had everything planned out: I would get my homework done at school so that I would have time to put the finishing touches on months of preparation for the SAT. I would review one last time Thursday night, and then use Friday to relax and get in the right headspace. But as we opened our computers to take notes, we all saw it. The SAT was canceled.

Immediately, the whole room was thrown into chaos as everyone scrambled, and frantic clicks of keyboards and whispers of “Did they respond?” or “Is there a makeup date?” circled around the class. At the time, panic surged through me, and I could barely process my own thoughts. However, this proved to be only a minor inconvenience compared to what would come. By fifth period, the notification regarding Harvard-Westlake’s closure due to COVID-19 began to circulate, and I walked out of school carrying the remainder of my junior year in my arms. 

My SAT panic was all but forgotten, and everything felt static and numb. And to some extent, it still feels that way. Everything that I had planned out for junior year, including spring concerts, field hockey training, three SAT attempts, Subject Tests, typical AP tests and college tours all evaporated. This semester was supposed to lay the foundation for my future. Instead, that foundation was crumbling brick by brick.

While my junior year has been scary, disappointing and sad, so has everyone else’s; seniors are missing out on their celebration of years of hard work, and college freshmen have been kicked out of their dorms. Of course, there are more serious issues: thousands of people losing loved ones and their livelihoods, nurses and doctors placing their lives on the line, the list goes on and on.

However, what scares me the most has little, if anything, to do with being a junior in high school. It is that common lack of control, that uncertainty that everyone, everywhere, feels. 

All of our plans have been derailed, and we have been thrown into this new world with no map to guide us. 

That is what unsettles me: having to watch everyone experience a universal uncertainty to which there is no clear solution and very little that we can control.

Click here to to read sophomore Daniel Ju’s perspective on how his year has been affected by COVID-19.