Dear Class of 2020 – An open letter to the graduates

Dear Class of 2020 – An open letter to the graduates

Dear Class of 2020:

I’ve seen the challenge on Facebook to post our senior photos in support of you, but I honestly don’t see how that will comfort you. It seems to me the exact opposite. We feel like we’re shoving it in your face, that we have to have this experience and you don’t. I would like to offer you something that I hope will sow seeds of inspiration for the future.

Sorry to miss the events and rights of way. It sucks that you won’t have experiences that are considered hallmarks of “growing up” like prom, graduation ceremonies, senior skip days, senior trips, and any other traditions given to seniors at your school. What’s just as bad is that you miss the experiences of school for the last time: lunch with your friends, those final projects and days in the classroom and time with teachers and classmates you didn’t know you’d see the last of a time when life was suddenly cut short by the coronavirus in March.

I have thought many times how devastating this would be for me, especially if it happened in my last semester before graduating college. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. I got engaged over spring break, worked on an independent research study that ultimately qualified me for the job I have now, loved all my classes, reconnected with an old friend, and achieved my goal of a 4.0 GPA. It would have been devastating to have been told not to come back from spring break. My whole life was about to change. No doubt, yours has as a result of this pandemic.

There is not much comfort to offer you. Perhaps high school seniors heading to college or students heading to graduate school will recapture some of these experiences in a few years. I went to a semi-formal my sophomore year of college that was way more fun and way better than my high school prom – but at least I had a prom to compare it to. You are missing out on experiences that cannot be replaced or taken back because there is no way to go back in time and recover what you missed due to choice or circumstance. I’m sorry.

It’s a hard lesson to learn so early in life and in a pretty extreme way. I think COVID-19 has taught every human being on Earth that we are no in control of everything and circumstances i can happen that will foil our best intentions and plans. These are usually lessons that come later in life, through personal things like unexpected changes in health, family, relationships, work or finances. This is one of two reasons why I believe we all have an identity crisis in our 40s. We’re disappointed that the life plans we made in our 20s didn’t turn out the way we expected. Reconciling who we are with who we’ve hoped to be is a matter of knowing two things: that the unexpected will happen to force us off track (as you’re learning now), and that we all want to be more, than we are when the truth is that all we are is enough.

Unfortunately, you learn the first lesson before you even have that diploma or degree in hand. Life will kick you and there is nothing you can do about it but adapt, adjust, fortify yourself to meet the challenge and take what wisdom and opportunity you can from it. The good news is that you can trust the Lord not only to see you through, but to ultimately work even this tragedy for your good. The number stands until the end, and we are not there yet. We all shuffle along in this chaotic mess and pray for better days around the next corner.

The second lesson is one you have to learn for yourself. I’m actually 44 years old and just now “getting it” after life kicked me around for about a decade until I finally grew up and learned that there are things about me that I need to work on in order to reach my full potential. This is actually a lifelong challenge. There will always be things to learn, do, fix, adjust to, and mature. This does not mean that there is a flaw in your character. It means you’re human, just like everyone else on the planet. Just remember that all you are and all you have is enough. The Lord will give you what you need as you move through life and work things out for you to be where you need to be. You may not always like it, but you are given the best and you just have to accept whatever it takes to be the best. Life hurts sometimes, but it ebbs and flows. All things pass. Know that challenges will give way to better days and enjoy the better days while you have them. The good news is that you have eternity with Christ, so it’s not like your time will really run out. Take your time and don’t rush. Just live life where you are, enjoy your blessings and take your lessons with humility and courage.

We all lack life experience. This is why we are all so anxious, nervous, angry, gloomy and depressed. No one knows what to do with this mess or what God is trying to work out in us. But missing milestones is the worst. It feels like cheating and it’s personal. It’s not. You’re not punished. None of us are. It’s a terrible time for you – and unfortunately, it happens in life. I pray that this leads you down a better path than you expected, and know that the light of other experiences will shine before you. You can’t get them back, but you can’t miss them all either. God will give you beauty for these ashes. Just stand firm and keep the faith.

No, I will not post my adult photo. You don’t need this. What you need is prayers and support for strength to see you through this crisis – just like all of us.

Best wishes for the future. You deserve it!

At your disposal,


#Dear #Class #open #letter #graduates

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