MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Graduation ceremonies just one thing, the class of 2020 has missed out on because of the pandemic. For seniors throughout the region, the sacrifice has been great.
This week, KEYC News Now takes some time to highlight area seniors who are trying to understand this time in life, a time that’s supposed to be full of hope and celebration.
“I really enjoyed the walk-in from the parking lot, especially when you have to park in that back corner when you are a little late...it’s something so subtle and something you never think you’ll not do again til June 4 and suddenly it just got taken away, and that’s something I miss, just walking in,” says Mankato West Senior Ben Maes.
Maes didn’t know on March 18 as he walked into Mankato West that it would be his last time doing so as a student.
“It’s crazy, you know, you just can’t wrap your head around it. It’s gonna take some time to get over it and think about it,” says Maes.
Ben has been thinking a lot lately, reflecting back on his time in school; the friendships he made, the music he’s played, the things he’s learned, and the chance to pursue his passion for baseball. This season he was to be the captain for the Mankato West Baseball Team. However, he didn’t even get a chance to step up to the plate.
“We were all so optimistic we were gonna come back and that’s kind of what kept us going, and now getting to see my friends in the summer is hopefully what’s gonna get us through now,” says Maes
Maes says it’s still surreal, having his high school career end much differently than he thought. He and his friend’s facetime, have socially distant bonfires, trying to stay connected amid the chaos that will define his class in the history books.
"Stay open with your feelings, don’t try to keep them in because that’s what’s going to eat you alive. It’s okay to breakdown, even cry a little bit, even if you are a guy. I know guys don’t like to cry they think it’s not manly but it’s alright in this situation because it is crazy and sometimes you just gotta sit down and think and maybe cry about it a little bit,” says Maes.