An SBS Tradition has a New Twist for the Class of 2020!
Kendall Pennington '20
Colorful streamers and college-themed balloons cover senior cars, wrapping their occupants in a celebratory hug. This past Thursday, the SBS community came together to commemorate the Class of 2020 with the first-ever Senior Car Parade.
COVID-19 has greatly impacted the SBS community, especially seniors who have had their long-awaited traditions of Powderpuff games, Prom, SeniorFest and Senior Skip Day taken away. Though no senior has fallen victim to the virus’s infectious touch, we have all become victim to its isolating reach, being forced away from our friends and teachers during a time meant to draw us closer together before we leave for college.
As an SBS senior, I have deeply mourned the loss of my last year of high school, supposedly one of the best times of my life. We’ve been living in an endless stream of “what-ifs,” hoping that we still have a graduation ceremony and walk the stage in our caps and gowns like the seniors before us. Upper school administration promised my class to do all that they could to celebrate us and our four years of hard work, birthing the idea for a Senior Car Parade. Initially, I thought the idea was endearing, but mostly, I was thrilled at the chance to leave my house and see my friends again. I thought it would be a drop of hope in the middle of a sea of disappointment. However, I was not prepared for the overwhelming love and support that would pour out from the school family around me.
I pulled up in my Texas A&M decked-out car to a celebratory scene full of underclassmen yelling for me as I drove into the parking lot. I was met by my other excited classmates in their decorated cars as I realized exactly what I would miss next year. The people. Driving through the car parade with lines of socially-distanced students, parents, faculty and alumni alike cheering for me and my classmates, I was overwhelmed with the strongest sense of gratitude. Gratitude for this school. Gratitude for its community. Gratitude for all the people within this community who put this entire parade together for our class in the midst of a global pandemic. I have never felt so loved, so appreciated and so completely valued in the middle of a group of people.
Throughout our route, I saw cowbells, masks and handmade signs, and the sight touched me. Seeing those masks amid such a jubilant event did not detract from the joy I felt there; it infused me with a sense of pride in the community that raised me. Despite this virus and despite the risks, my SBS family showed up for me. They showed up for my classmates. They became a light in the darkness, a city on a hill during such a dark and tumultuous time in our world’s history. They showed Jesus to a class in need, a class robbed of our senior year only to be given something even more special. A community that loves us. A community that shows up.