COVID-19 is a real bummer. Everything is shut down and everyone is locked in, and it seems that it’s going to be our reality for a while. However, one of the biggest areas affected by this pandemic is the schools across the nation, and Oswego High School is no exception.

With graduation restructured and prom canceled at OHS, the class of 2020 won’t be given the same experience as previous graduates. This is an unfair phenomenon, to say the least, as some students have waited so long for these moments in their lives that unfortunately might become wasted dreams.

However, due to one student’s actions, OHS’s class of 2020 will be given the recognition they deserve, and the confidence to keep moving forward in this trying time.

Summer Hawkins, a senior at OHS, runs an Instagram account with the username of “ohsfuture,” where she posts pictures of seniors at OHS to celebrate their future ventures in education. This account is in no way affiliated with OHS itself, it’s just a caring act by a very caring student. Hawkins got the idea to run the account through similar actions done through other schools, and positive pressure from her peers.

“I saw other schools doing the same thing and I thought, ‘why shouldn’t we have the same thing for our school?’, because work really hard all year,” Hawkins said. “It gives seniors the shoutouts that they would have gotten if we still had school.”

Hawkins collects seniors’ information through direct messaging the account: their name, where they are going to school, and what their major is. She also asks for an image and compiles it all into one post, which then is featured on the Instagram account page. Hawkins gets a large number of submissions, yet she does not feel overwhelmed by the amount of information she’s getting. 

“It takes thirty minutes to make ten of them,” Hawkins said. “Usually I put aside some time in a day to do it all at once.”

By the time the next school year wraps up, it will be the Class of 2021’s turn to be on the account. Hawkins plans on passing the torch to an incoming senior to keep the spirit of the account alive and well, hopefully keeping it running for years to come. 

“I never thought of that actually, but I don’t plan on doing it for the next couple classes coming in,” Hawkins said. “It would be a good idea to actually have another kid take it over for their class.”

In a time of what seems like consistent confusion and anger, especially for high school seniors across the country, Oswego High School has found a sense of community once again. Hawkins provides a way to let her peers make their first mark on the post-high school world, and it’s a fitting way to end the school year as some 700+ seniors branch out to various parts of the country to continue their education, begin trade school, or serve in the military. 

Hawkins also gives some words of encouragement to her fellow seniors.

“Keep your head up, stay positive, I know it’s hard, but we’re all going through it and we’ll all get through it together,” Hawkins said. “We’re going to college soon, so we have that to look forward to, and hold onto that hope. So keep moving towards that!” 

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