The Class of 2020
Senior year looks different this year than ever before. Well maybe not than ever before. I know there have been hard times in the world in times past. Many people bring up the year of the Vietnam War when the Seniors graduated and went off to war or the Great Depression when they could not even finish to graduate. Those were very difficult times for sure and should be remembered as such. But that does not take away from the pain the Seniors feel today. Graduation 2020, the year of quarantine. They deserve our condolences as well as our praise.
This group of young people were born into a changing world. They came along just before or just after 9/11. Born into a world with airports closing the gates to those picking up visitors and family no longer able to park and leave your car outside of baggage claim. A world with pillars going up around buildings to prevent massive car bombs. Some of these students may not even remember a time with no metal detectors in schools.
These young people spent the last 3 months of their Senior year away from their friends. The last days of High school should be filled with expectations, laughter of friends in the hall ways and sharing ideas about Universities as well as the next stage of life. The school halls should be heavy with nervous energy as they go in to take AP and college placement exams followed by comparing answers with their peers.
They should be experiencing their final play, their final debate, and their final chance to “take state”. And finally, feel that sense of accomplishment as the receive their awards, give their speeches and take the long expected walk in cap and gown down the isle with all of their family and friends looking on.
Alas, they are not getting to experience those lasts. The long marathon of school, and the finish line was removed. Graduation 2020 the year of quarantine, all up in the air leaving many Seniors with no Pomp and Circumstance.
Graduation in Quarantine
My daughter bought her prom dress the first semester and was so excited about wearing it this year. But now, it may never happen. She gave her final High School speech to a room with just mom, dad, a camera man and one teacher instead of a full house. Then,watched it at home with mom, dad and sisters. We received her senior awards in the mail. Received without any hurrah (other than mom and dad as we read through them and gave her hugs of congratulations). And at this moment, she still does not know if she will have an official graduation ceremony with any family present. The school set and changed the date 2 times. It all depends on what happens in the next 3 weeks. Nothing is constant.
My daughter, is extremely outgoing and loves her friends. She is missing out on the last few months to play with, laugh with, joke with, cry with, and most importantly hug her high school friends. That is a loss that cannot be returned. Her class has been saving money since their Freshmen year for a senior trip to Disney that they will not be taking and may or may not get totally refunded. They may or may not take a different trip this summer. Again, everything is fluid.
While in quarantine, go with the flow
As I watch my daughter walk through all of the changes I admire her resilience. Yes, there have been a few tears, but she is accepting of the circumstances. She does not go around whining and complaining as some would have you believe of this generation. I have seen a brave soul. She is hesitant to make plans but rolls with the punches and gets up ready to run when the final plan is made. Graduation 2020 the year of quarantine is ever evolving, maybe even through July. and what about August, when they are to move into the dorms. still to be seen.
2020- Elastic and ready to go
This amazing group of young people are graduting High School and entering the world of adulthood as the world takes on another life altering change. We don’t know what the next stages will be as we begin stepping out of our houses again. With the world of zoom and amazon expanding by leaps and bounds. No one knows what to expect. And these young people will be leading the way into a brave new world. The Covid experience making them much more elastic and buoyant than before.
The class of 2020 started life with 9/11 and are heading off into adulthood following a world wide pandemic and quarantine. Something even my mother said she never thought she would see. They are prepared. They have seen disappointment and have had to made quick and life altering transitions at the drop of a hat. Plan A…Plan B… no Plan C… Hence, making these young people capable, versitial and ready for whatever life throws them.
You made it, graduation 2020 the year of quarantine with tears, grace and strength.
So to the class of 2020 I give a huge round of applause. Go change the world.
Those dreams you have for yourself are not silly; they are the road map to your divine calling! Don’t sit this one out. Don’t let someone else’s opinion of you determine your worth. Don’t miss out on the chance to live the life of incredible possibility in front of you. You were not made to be small!Rachel Hollis, Girl Wash your Face