To the Class of 2020
I should begin by simply stating that I am not a normal senior, as cheesy as that sounds. I am a military child who has spent the last 3 years in South Korea and spent more of my life overseas than in the states. That being said, I am proud to represent the class of 2020.
Living in South Korea, I have been quarantined for 10 weeks. Unlike many in the United States and European countries, we have not yet received any word regarding if we will have the rest of our school year or not. This has left our school teachers, staff, and students in utter disarray. Regardless of the location where you currently reside, this is a stressful time for anyone. Your feelings are valid regardless of your age.
But what does this mean regarding the Class of 2020? Many might joke around claiming the class of 2020 is simply compiled of stereotypes of jocks, emos, populars, nerds, dorks, etc., but we are more. We began our first steps in this world with 9/11 (2001) to our current situation in the midst of a pandemic (2020). In between was the beginning of the Iraq war (2003-2011), Hurricane Katrina (2005), the Great Recession (2008), Ebola epidemic (2014), and many other tragic events that shaped the way we view the world.
Unfortunately, everyone tends to highlight the terrors in the world, but why do we not talk about the beautiful and remarkable events and movements that have happened in the world since our birth? Facebook was founded (2004), the Kyoto Protocol was launched to fight climate change (2005), the MeToo Movement brought justice and awareness (2006), liquid water was found on Mars (2015), March for Our Lives fought gun violence in over 900 locations worldwide (2018), protests erupted in India for the Citizenship Amendment Act (2019), and many other positive events have happened that have stemmed from our powerful influence. We as the youth have the power to change the negativity on the media and throughout the world, so why not start now?
Class of 2020, I know we have been through some hardships. I know more than anything that you are wondering when's the next time you can get Sonic with friends and drive countless hours to absolutely nowhere. I know you long for the moments where you look around and spiral as you hear the ruckus from the simplistic word “Seniors!” across the gym during a pep rally. I know it brings you near to tears when you reflect on the innumerable times you laughed with your friends at the lunch table. I know, I do too.
But I want you to look in the mirror right now and look at who you are now. If you do not have a mirror, look at your hands and your feet. Your hands have crafted some of the most intricate pieces of the newest technology. Your feet have walked thousands of miles on the Earth to meet the people you have inspired today. You are stronger than before, you are kinder than before, you are more astonishing than before. I am proud of you, our class is proud of you. The world is proud of you. Push forward and never give up!
If you or someone you love needs help during this tough time, check out our Resources page for links to mental health resources. If you or someone you love might have COVID-19, click here for the CDC's instructions.