I have started this letter, and then proceeded to abandon multiple times because I can’t seem to capture exactly what I’m feeling with my words. A few months ago I was infatuated with the idea of moving on to the next phase of my life. There are probably quite a few people who have heard me talk about my eagerness to not only graduate high school, but to widdle a path through college as quickly and efficiently as possible so I can “start my life.” Sometimes that was a joke, and sometimes it really wasn’t. Either way, the fact of the matter is that I wasn’t as ready to move on as I thought I was.
This school year has been a whirlwind of new experiences. From the change in the schedule and the lunches, to things as seemingly insignificant as the uniform, the Class of 2020 was asked to lead the rest of the school in a series of changes that redefined the image of McNicholas High School. It is hard to wear the mantle of a leader, and it is hard to walk through uncharted territory. To do both at once is almost impossible and requires a certain kind of selfless sacrifice.
At the beginning of this year, I’ll admit that the changes where not easy for me, and I did not particularly care for most of them. I was angry that I had to relearn how the flow of the schedule worked like I was a freshman all over again, and I was distraught to find myself at the helm of something that I, quite frankly, didn’t sign up for when I shadowed as an eighth grader. It’s clearer now to me that the challenges that befell us this year, were meant for us. There is not another group of people that I have had the privilege of learning and living with that presents the degree of strength of character and sacrificial love that the Class of 2020 harbors. The act of leading the school though the changes‒ the unexplored wilderness if you will‒ requires, what Hutch would call, “A quality crew.” I am proud of every one of you.
I don’t know that I would call you all my friends, instead I would call you family. Where you have friends, you have family. For me, I had yet to let myself be to process exactly what I was leaving behind. Fourth quarter is our transition period. It’s a rite of passage‒ a series of “lasts” so we can prepare for an entirely new set of “firsts.” As much as I had convinced myself that school is an endurance test for me, I am still afraid of change. I needed to be in community with all of you… I needed my family to help with that transition to the next chapter of my life.
We had this image of how things are supposed to go fourth quarter of senior year. We have watched three other classes patiently as they got their opportunity to walk across a stage in a cap and gown after 16 quarters of hard work and dedication at McNicholas High School. In a way, we created future for ourselves that seemed to be set in stone, and it slipped through our fingers. It doesn’t feel fair that our victory lap should be any different than those before us. It’s easy to want to find someone to blame for our misfortune because when you can place blame, you can be angry, and “angry” is sometimes easier then grief. But the truth is, there is no one to blame. There is nothing any of us can do to ward off a pandemic than to do exactly what we have been doing for the past month and will continue to do until future notice.
If there is a group of people who can push their shoulders back, lift their chins up in the air, and bear the unbearable, it is the Class of 2020. While I am saddened by our sudden loss of time together, I have no doubt that we will be able to endure the pain of loss. Even if we are not promised a time and a place where this group of people will all collectively be, learning and serving together the way we have for the past four years, we are still family. Family is forever. It’s a great day to be a Rocket. I think that is important, and I would like you to write it down.
Class of 2020
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