Class of 2020 Graduates Continue to Struggle With COVID-19 Disappointments

By Melissa Moore-Randall

When schools were closed for two weeks this past March , most Revere High School (RHS) students were thinking about unexpected vacation. However, as weeks turned into months and in-person learning and athletics were cancelled for the remainder of the school year, RHS seniors soon realized that they would not return to their classrooms or the playing fields. As they struggled with losing so many senior events like the prom and graduation, they looked forward to embarking on their college journeys.

Unfortunately, three RHS Class of 2020 graduates soon realized that Covid would begin to continue to rob them of milestones they had looked forward to for so long.  On the same day they were told their high school graduation was cancelled, they were dealt another blow when they found out that their freshman year at UMass – Amherst would be spent, at home, studying remotely, once again.

RHS Graduates and UMass-Amherst Freshmen Katie O’Donnell, Eve Lescovitz, and Amelia Viscay.

Katie O’Donnell, Amelia Viscay, and Eve Lescovitz, who all excelled, both in the classroom and in athletics including being part of the 2019 history making field hockey team, were in disbelief that Covid once again was bringing disappointment to another life milestone.

Katie O’Donnell was a Spanish and National Honor Society member and Co-Captain of the Field Hockey, Basketball, Powerpuff, and Softball teams. O’Donnell was also the Great Boston League (GBL) Field Hockey League MVP and GBL All Star for Basketball.

Amelia Viscay was a member of the RHS Student Council, Model G20 and Model UN Clubs, recipient of the Northeastern Book Award, Excellence in History Certificate, and the Unsung Hero Award for Field Hockey, and member of the Powderpuff Team.

Eve Lescovitz was also a member of the Spanish and National Honor Societies, finished 7th in her graduating class, was captain of the Field Hockey and Softball teams, a Greater Boston League All-Star in both sports, and a member of RHS Student Council and Model UN Club.

After losing out on so many experiences that every high school senior sees as a right of passage, O’Donnell, Viscay, and Lescovitz hoped college would offer them an opportunity to enjoy their freshman year college experience including making new friends and memories and putting the disappointment of their high school senior year behind them.

O’Donnell, a Criminal Justice major, said “The hardest part so far is trying to focus online with no structure. This is a real struggle for me. I hope some sort of normality will come in the near future.”

Viscay, a Political Science major, added, “Online classes have been difficult, especially because I work as well. Time management gets hard sometimes. But hopefully, we’ll plan to move on campus spring semester to get a little bit of the college experience.”

Lescovitz, also a Political Science major and a member of the Commonwealth Honors College, concluded, “I am having difficulty making new friends as if we were on campus. Making connections through online classes is really difficult.”

As they wrap up their first semester at UMASS, all three are cautiously optimistic that they will be able to move onto campus for their second semester which is slated to begin in January.

The University of Massachusetts at Amherst is a public research and land-grant university in Amherst, Massachusetts which is in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts.  UMass Amherst has an annual enrollment of more than 30,000 students and tuition of approximately $30,000 a year.

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