Dear Class of 2020:

Contrary to said popular belief, high school was not the best four years of my life. I learned to grow up idolizing high school, watching movies like High School Musical and shows like Hannah Montana. I entered the doors of high school with the idea that I would find the Troy to my Gabriella, believing that everyone would notice the pimple on my chin or that I cut my hair differently. None of it was true. My best friends were not forever and I wasn’t pronounced anything queen. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy being a teenager and experiencing an all American high school. Yet there is no doubt our class has lived through the most bizarre, movie-like catastrophes we know to this day.

Let’s face it, being stuck in quarantine has us all breaking all sorts of boredom records. Who can watch youtube the longest, can your eyes explode from watching Netflix, who can scroll through TikTok’s the longest? I myself have too been stuck in an endless loop of social media but sometimes for better reasons than others. It was a usual quarantine night, when my social media loop began through endless scrolls on TikTok. The sun could rise up and I would still be scrolling! Anyways, I came across a TikTok that stood out to me. This TikTok was made by a group of high school seniors, like myself, whom are saying goodbye to their highly appraised graduation. Because of COVID-19, many highly awaited reunions like graduation, concerts, senior prom, and even family gatherings have been canceled. But these seniors weren’t sad over the fact that their graduation had been canceled, rather they were praising the class of 2020 for prevailing through thousands of situations like the one occurring today.

Then i realized, it’s crazy to think that our generation was born in an incredible strand of history. While most of us were just beginning life, the tragic events of 9/11 shattered the hearts of millions. Since the early days, we have prevailed through different catastrophes, like the crash of stock markets, the devastations of Hurricane Katrina and Irma, global crisis through countries, and even global pandemics. During our years of schooling, we shared experiences that were never before seen, sadly like mass shootings. All things nobody trying to enjoy our last few years as a teenager should be experiencing.

Putting it all into perspective, it may seem like the World was ending at times. I found it inspiring that the group of seniors had made my perspective of this situation into a more positive thought. Through just a simple video I was able to see a possible positive point to not attending my long awaited graduation. Just another battle we are all able to prevail from.

Having put all the bad stuff aside, it was not all that bad. You may not believe me now since I just bored you with all the devastating times we’ve all had to experience. The reality of it is that apart from all the dark sides there was to our story, we have all prevailed to be amazing young men and women. So yes, COVID-19 stole an important chapter in our story but it can never take away the amazing memories we have made throughout the way.

After having accepted that my high school experience will never be like Troy and Gabriella’s, I can admit that a lot has happened along the way. I have met a lot of people, learned a lot from most of them. Lost lots of said best friends but also gained bonds that were made for lifetimes. We’ve made some mistakes along the way, we’ve cried, laughed a little, and most importantly enjoyed the good times with good people.

During this time where we are all hurting, take a second to think how such events and experiences have shaped us to be who we are today. Stand tall and be proud of who you have become despite all the downsides. Be grateful for it all, the good and the bad. Remember the friendships you made along the way. Reminisce on the friendships that came and went. Worship the memories you made with those that were there all throughout. Celebrate life now more than ever and never stop dreaming about tomorrow, since it is in the near future that we will succeed.

My thanks to the Class of 2020.