Dear 2020 Seniors,
I know this is not the senior year you had planned for. I know this is not the senior year you had hoped for. I know this is not the senior year everyone prepared you to have, with their stories and their memories–the ones that made you even more excited than you were to begin with.
I know that you will never get back what you lost this year, because whether you’re a high school senior or a college senior, you’ve lost something that you simply can’t get back. There’s no telling yourself, as you may have done in your junior year, that you still have next year.
I might get what you didn’t
I am a junior. I have a chance to do all of the things you didn’t get to do. I still have next year.
And because I still have my senior year ahead of me, the type of senior year you didn’t get to have, the type of senior year you should have had, I promise you that I’m going to do my senior year differently for you, and that I’m going to enjoy even the unenjoyable parts, because I’m thankful that at least I have the chance to “un-enjoy” them.
Class of 2020, here is what I promise you
I promise to not complain about how hot graduation is, or how graduation got rained out and is now being held in the small, smelly school gym, or even how the keynote speaker’s speech went on much longer than it should have.
I promise to not complain about the horrible music they play at prom, and how it’s undanceable, despite the fact that we’re at a dance.
I promise to not go on about how much I don’t want to go to practice for my sport.
I promise not to be devastated if I don’t get the lead in the spring musical, and to cherish whatever part I may get.
I promise not to complain when my mom is acting completely crazy as she prepares for my open house.
I promise to smile and completely cooperate when my family insists on taking too many pictures of me at graduation.
I promise to appreciate the little things, like getting to have my favorite teacher/professor for a class one last time, or seeing my friends in the hallway/on campus.
I promise not to complain when it gets extremely hot during practices for spring sports.
I promise to let my mom go through as many tissues as she needs on the many different senior nights my school will have.
I promise to soak in the moments when I say goodbye to people, and through the sadness I promise to be thankful that I get the chance to say a proper goodbye to them.
I promise to enjoy and cherish my senior year for both of us and to be grateful through the highs and the lows, even though I know that this doesn’t give you back what you lost, or create memories you’ve been looking forward to creating since freshman year.
Although it certainly wasn’t in the way you had imagined, you’ve now passed the mantle of school leadership to the Class of 2021, and as a small part of that class, I promise to do what I can to make you proud.
Here’s to you, Class of 2020.
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Anna Spencer is a high school student going into her senior year, with plans to attend Messiah College after high school. She spends most of her time dancing.