To the Class of 2020


High school seniors are facing the potential cancellation of important events, such as prom and graduation, due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Annaleise Parsons, Staff Writer

I’m weeping into my pillow for the third time of the day. I had just realized another milestone I would be losing if we didn’t go back to school: a last uniform day for JROTC. I FaceTime my best friend who’s also in JROTC to share the news. She can’t comfort me; she starts crying too.

On the first day of online classes, the first JROTC online staff meeting happens for the year. I sit and listen to my peers discuss dates, statistics, and the current health issues for 20 minutes. We all come to a conclusion that no one is happy about, but it must be done. We cancel the annual corpswide Chieftain Warrior competition- a flight competition with a prize of a 4 foot trophy and bragging rights.

I can’t shed any tears because there’s none left. I’ve lost more milestones than I can count.

But I’m lucky. I’m not sick. I’m not a part of the almost 60,000 coronavirus cases in the United States or someone who’s lost a family member to the pandemic. I have a healthy family, steady Internet access, plenty of food and supplies, and access to go outside for a walk or bike ride.

But I have lost things. The entire class of 2020 has.

So here’s what I have to say to the class of 2020:

You’re allowed to grieve and be angry. You’re allowed to mourn, shed tears, and miss the life that you once had. You don’t need to think to yourself “it could be worse” because your suffering is valid and shouldn’t be compared to anyone else’s. You’ve lost important events. And you can lose more.

But there is a bright side. You get to spend more time with your family before you leave for college. You get to eat dinner with your family every night and wake up later than usual every morning. You get to learn time management skills and self-motivation with online classes. You will treasure the time you have with friends after this. This will not last forever.

So to the class of 2020…take your time. Grieve your sports season, your cancelled UIL competition, and the loss of your senior trip. But remember the milestones that you did have: the last first day of school, the last football game, the last homecoming dance, the last Thanksgiving run, the last Christmas party with your friends.

Look towards the future. Follow the CDC guidelines and practice social distancing. Do your part to make sure that you’re keeping your family and yourself healthy and strong. Protect human lives.

We are strong. We will get through this. We will be shaped by this experience. We will not take things for granted again.

So thank you, class of 2020, for the memories we created and the years we spent together.