An open letter to my class of 2020
April 14, 2020
There is no way around it. The entire world is experiencing a huge, dangerous, disastrous, scary catastrophe all at once, and there is really nothing we can do about it but wash our hands and hope. This is the year we should be on top. We paid our dues for three years to be able to finally step back and take a breath after working 11 years to get where we are, and get to do the things we have heard about all the while: Senior Ditch Day, prom, and graduation. Senior year is supposed to be the year where it all kind of makes sense. Yet here we are, the rug pulled out right from underneath us. As newly emerging adults, this is the world we are stepping out into. We’re finally getting a taste of this ‘real world’ everyone has been warning us about for all these years.
There’s nothing I can do about this.
It’s so easy to just fall into the thought that no matter what I do, I am powerless. With new information coming out every day, more and more lives are being affected by this disease, and things are rapidly shutting down, so it feels like the world is coming to a standstill. And let’s be honest, we’re still practically just kids. Our whole lives so far have more or less been dictated by someone else, being told that once we’re adults, we can make our own choices. Now, we are adults. We can make decisions and do things that matter, but we have no concept of how to actually do that, or how long that might take. So we are stuck in this paradox where we feel like we should do something, but there is nothing we can do. We feel powerless.
I feel selfish.
When I think of my own feelings towards this crisis, my mind immediately goes to the immortal words of Kourtney Kardashian, “Kim, there’s people that are dying.” Of course it feels selfish and childish to complain of missing prom or graduation when people are losing their friends, jobs, and losing their lives. When put into perspective with everything else, our gripes as the class of 2020 don’t seem so bad. But the problem with this way of thinking is that it assumes that the issues are simple. The dilemma our world is facing is not black and white; you can’t just say that it’s something like the cold or the flu, where people get it and deal with it the way they have for decades. We have seen many flus and colds in our lifetimes, but we have never seen anything quite like this. The problem with this virus is that its side effects go far beyond just sickness. It has affected our politics, our economy, and even our way of life. So yes, while the sickness part of this pandemic is obviously devastating and the main point of concern, there should not be any shame in mourning the other things that have been destroyed by this virus. To make a very long paragraph short, you are allowed to feel bad for yourself, and your situation, while knowing that things could be worse.
What should we do?
I don’t know. I don’t think anyone really knows. Everything we have ever known to be true about our senior year has just been thrown out the window, so where do we go from here? The one beautiful thing that this crisis has brought to light is just how creative and wonderfully stubborn people can be. As the old adage goes, necessity breeds creation. With our backs against the wall, we are showing that there are always solutions and always hope. Even in the black hole of our media, there is light that has not yet been swallowed. Countless fundraisers have been created to help out the people in the world who will be most severely impacted by this economic crisis. We are relearning just how important it is to love those close to you, and showing it in any way you can. We are adapting as best as possible to this ever changing and confusing situation, finding ways to carry on.
How do we get through this?
We should keep on living. We are living the future pages of a history book, but we don’t even know the full story yet. As scary and unusual as these times are, it will not be like this forever. This feels like it couldn’t have come at a worse time for us, but that doesn’t mean that it will impact us forever. Even though it isn’t rational, it feels like everything is so permanent right now, like as our senior year shuts down, so will our lives. But that isn’t true. We don’t quite know when, but there will be a day where we can go outside again, and have dinner with our friends, and go back to the way things were before. Ceremony or not, we will graduate and move on to the next phases of our lives. Things might not be exactly what we thought they were. So many things are happening to us that we have to constantly be learning how to adapt, and that is how we take our power back. COVID-19 has taken so many things from us, but it cannot take our spirit. That may sound horribly cheesy, but it’s true that the only thing that can stop us from enjoying our senior year is us. Find enjoyment in the Zoom classes, finally do your work at your own pace, and once it’s safe again, go out there and enjoy the time you have left before you really have to be an adult. We are only high school seniors once. Hang in there, and we can get through this.
Hi! My name is Lexi and I am this year’s social media manager and design chief. This is my fourth and final year on the Talon staff, so I am looking...