Dear Class of 2020,

This is your senior year. No, it's not how you, or anyone else in the world envisioned this year, but here it is. You've spent years preparing for this time. Now, it seems that your year has been ripped away from you. It seems that the year that most consider to be the most influential year, the one with the most meaningful memories, has been pulled away from you. It looks like your educational journey came all the way to the year 2020, and then just busted.

Or, at least it seems that way.

This is your chance to shine! Your chance to really show that your senior year wasn't for nothing! I've seen pictures on social media of seniors all over that have really embraced this time. They're learning trades, learning new skills, and preparing for the next steps in life. Whether those steps are furthering your education, stepping into the workforce, or something else, you can take those steps knowing that this year wasn't a total bust. And really, that it wasn't a bust at all.

You have to realize that one year doesn't define you. And one year doesn't define your journey. What defines you is the years that have led up to this point. What defines you is the work you put in to get to this year. Everything leading up to this year had a point; to get you here, and to prepare you for bigger things. And, I don't know if you realize it or not, but this pandemic - the very thing that has caused the upset in your education - it's a BIG thing.

So what are you going to do about it?

I say, you finish out your senior year with a bang. You do learn those trades. You do learn those skills. You make sure to set up times to converse with classmates to have some semblance of a normal day. Video chat. Phone call. Email. Text. Plan something BIG for when these various lockdowns are rescinded completely. Because, this year, this one year, does not define you.

Don't get me wrong. My heart goes out to all of you that didn't get to take part in specific events one last time. The athletes that didn't get to play in that final season. The academic competitors that didn't get to go to that final competition. The actors that don't get to perform in the final play. The musicians that don't get to play in that one final recital. And, to encompass it all, the students - all of you - that don't get to have the normal final year.

But, I look forward to what you do in the future. Come on! If this is the worst, or "the bottom", there's only one way to go from here. And that way is up. So don't look at this year a bust, or a flop. Look at this year as a year for growth and preparation. It's not the end of the world. Because this year...this ONE year...does not define you.

Go ahead Class of 2020. Go do something big.

-MC

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