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To the Class of 2020

 

As this chaos has quickly unfolded, I knew I had to write to you, class of 2020.


Quickly, unfortunately, may not be the correct term. This uncertainty and change unraveled
before each of us could fully wrap our minds around it...and if you are anything like me, you still
have not grasped the concept entirely.


I remember on a Monday speaking to teammates about COVID-19 and then, it seemed so
incredibly far from reality. By Thursday, however, it was our reality. Class of 2020, you know all
too well that “quickly” is an understatement.


This unseen horror had enraptured itself in everything we as high school students consider
“normal life” and for many others as well, in the blink of an eye. The year that we have been
patiently waiting on for all the senior festivities is no longer lying out beautifully in front of us.


We watched our older siblings, friends, teammates, and many more go off to senior prom, walk
the stage for their senior banquet and graduation, lace up their spikes one last time, be honored
for senior night on the field, and say goodbye to the people and places they loved dearly before
each going their separate ways...now those opportunities seem stripped away all at once.


Expectations crushed, nonetheless.


To paint a more vivid image...My fellow classmates and I, smiled through tearful eyes before
closing our lockers on the last day we were at school, March 13th, and mouthed the words, “We
will be back,” to paint a glimmer of hope in the uncertainty. The truth is, we had no idea if we
would ever walk those halls one last time. So we said the words, “We will be back,” because for
the time being that is the hope we needed. We were bystanders as underclassmen and
became ecstatic about not returning for an extended period of time, but you, class of 2020,
understand that these were far from our emotions.


I do not need to describe this disappointment any further, because you understand better than
anybody else. Class of 2020, my heart is broken with you and for you.


And major disclaimer; I write to you, my fellow classmates because I too am saddened at our
current circumstance. I would be blatantly lying if I said I have handled this situation with grace
and thanksgiving, because I have not. It would be wrong of me to say I write to you with the
perfect solution on how we move on quickly, and I would be mistaken saying the thought of
things I am missing out on does not flood my mind constantly.


Everytime I look at the clock my mind flashes to the class I would be in during that moment.
Everytime I workout my mind is engulfed by the desire to be on the softball field.
Everytime I open my laptop I miss my teachers and the school hallways.
Everytime I laugh at something small I think of my best friends, and other random items bring
my thoughts to individuals I encounter everyday at school.


Class of 2020, I do not think it would be wrong for me to assume that your mind has been
swallowed by discontent, frustration, and flashbacks just like me. I also do not think it is wrong
of me to assume that someone or something has made you feel as if you are being
“insensitive,” for becoming upset about the end of senior year coming to a close all too
quickly.

What you feel is REAL; there is not a step-by-step manual I could write that would
help myself or any of you rid ourselves of feeling deep disappointment. I write to you
authentically and honestly my fellow graduates -- with no clear direction on what we are
walking through in the months ahead.


So what do we do next you ask?
 

To that I would say I have no idea.

But, in a time that is loud and clear about what we CAN’T do, here are some things that you
CAN do.


1. Write a list of gratitudes.


So many individuals have told me to do this many times in my life, but I never really have until
this time. In these constant changes, there is still GOOD. Our eyes are prone to turn to the
chaos, and we forget about the many wonderful things we have around us everyday. Push
yourself to write down what you are thankful for and actively engage in the good that is all
around you...I promise you will not regret it.


2. Control what you can control.


We have absolutely no control over the global pandemic occurring, although we wish so
desperately we did. So it is our job in quarantine, to control what we can. I can not control the
fact that I am unable to physically go to school, but I can control my effort in online learning. I
can not engage in my normal activities, but I can control the health of my mind, body, and
surroundings. Take a step everyday to walk in the controllable.


3. Be patient with yourself.


Each of us are walking through something NEW, unprecedented, with no textbook definition on
how we should deal with our circumstances. There is no “right” way to feel in this time, therefore
there is no individual that should get to choose how you feel. Do not sit in your disappointment
of course, but walk through it daily as best as you possibly can -- giving yourself grace when
necessary.


4. Encourage your fellow classmates.


I once heard a teacher say that they had never seen a class as bonded together as the class of
2020, and I challenge you to make that statement more evident than ever before. Reach out to
your classmates, ask them how they are doing, and encourage them -- reaching beyond your
social sphere. We are in great need of one another.


5. Stay hopeful, the best is yet to come.


Class of 2020, there are better days ahead and I hope you believe that fully.
It has been an absolute honor to be a part of this class, and together we will continue to press
on through these uncharted waters.

One day at a time, class of 2020. One day at a time.


WRITTEN BY Drezdan Ginder