The Kids Will Be Alright: A Letter to High School Seniors

Dear Fellow 2020 Seniors,

This year we have spent endless days thinking of college essay ideas and nights cramming for math tests. We have planned proms, grad nights, and celebratory summer trips. We hung out with friends, classmates, and family, realizing that pretty soon our lives would drastically change and we’d be off on new adventures, be that college, a job, or travel. Then, all of our planning and hard work was derailed when we heard the news of a global pandemic that would force us into our houses for an indefinite period of time. We put the caps and gowns away and traded them for sweatpants and a TV remote. None of us wanted this ending, no matter how badly we may have wished for the end to come. We counted days off our calendars and pleaded for the quick arrival of high school’s end, but now that it is here, it feels like a letdown. Then came the other issue, of whether we even had the right to complain about something as trivial as a graduation ceremony or prom night, when we saw the news reporting unemployment numbers and death tolls rising. We may have lost something, but our loss is not as large as the world’s loss, it can’t be. How dare I feel bad about not having a party when people are losing their homes, right? But here’s the thing- we spent most of our post-toddler lives dreaming about this time. We had to say goodbye to something we worked so hard for - and that in itself is a loss too. It’s unfair and it’s okay to be upset. We don’t know whether colleges will start this fall or next spring. We don’t know whether our summers will be outdoors at the beach or indoors in front of Netflix. So much is unknown, and that’s scary. But none of that means we can’t still celebrate the years of efforts we’ve put into getting to this day, this moment. Bake a cake with your siblings, drive to your best friend’s house and talk from your cars, make a bucket list of all the things you want to do as soon as quarantine ends, and be sure to actually ​do them​. This is a difficult time for everyone, but chances are, a few years from now we will all have moved on with our lives and look back at this with nothing more than a shiver. You ​will​ start college if that’s what you planned. You ​will​ get to go on that big trip to another country if that’s what you planned. You ​will​ get that cool internship or job started if that’s what you planned. All our hard work did not amount to nothing - if anything we will appreciate it so much more when it does happen. This is a time of delayed gratification, but we ​will​ get to enjoy the fruits of all our labor, it just might be a little later than we’d hoped.

To my fellow seniors, Class of 2020, I’m sorry for all we’ve given up, truly, but I can’t wait until the days of waiting around end and I get to see all the amazing things my peers and classmates accomplish.

Sincerely, Your fellow senior, Isobel.