Dear Class of 2020,
Everybody has a story. Some are simple, a successful four years of college and then moving on. Some are a long road, full of different stops, transferring schools, and changing directions along the way. Some stories are ones of pure grit – students who never gave up, no matter how many years went by, and they’ve finally reached their goal. No matter what your story is, the beautiful part about this time of year is that for one day, all our stories come together – graduation day.
The Class of 2020 is the most unique graduating class of all time. Our stories will forever be intertwined with one of the most challenging times our country has ever seen. Whether we have been directly affected by the pandemic or not, our stories are forever changed, put on pause, while a more important one gets written.
Just because it’s what we have to do doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting. Our moment taking a backseat while the world heals is something that seemed unfathomable just a couple months ago. We planned our spring break getaways, graduation parties and celebrations – all blank chapters now. But, we did it because that’s what the world required.
When our college careers started, we all thought about certain moments, and the most important moment – the one that provides closure, graduation. It’s a moment that’ll never be the way we imagined it now. Virtual. Postponed. In some cases, cancelled.
Still, we kept going. Fully online classes. DIY graduation photoshoots. Virtual ceremonies. Zoom parties. While the world around us changed, we stayed the course. A semester that was supposed to be one of celebration turning into one full of change and difficulty. But also one of perseverance.
We were ready to fill our minds with memories of walking across that stage, but we can still show the world how special of a class we are. If this year has taught us anything, it’s that no matter how definite a moment seems, it can always be taken away by something completely out of our control.
So we’ll show the world by living with a reckless abandon, with success on our minds, paving our own way if we have to. We’ve learned from our stories that first and foremost, they are our stories, so we won’t let anybody else hold the pen. We all have unfinished business now, to find our closure; our path; make our own success and not to look back.
The Class of 2020 deserves to be celebrated. We’ll never be a traditional graduating class, but maybe that makes it more special. When we do find our closure – whether it’s at a virtual or in-person postponed graduation, or in our own unique way, we’ll have done it in a way that no other graduating class has. That makes it special. We’re different, and different is special.
It may never be the moment we imagined, but it’s still our moment. It’s our accomplishment. It’s our story. And nobody can ever take that away from the Class of 2020.
Congratulations to every single graduate of the Class of 2020, I can’t wait to see the amazing things we accomplish.