The graduating class of 2020 was born with the grievances for those that had fallen and total governmental lockdown and scrutiny for terrorism and terrorists. A real tragedy had come across the country, and we as a nation attempted a retaliation; a war on terrorism, we heard it called. Just as we were becoming more and more familiar with the world around us, the great recession hit. In 2008-2009, we were just in elementary school; first grade for most of us. Many people struggled during that time. Ever since then, school shootings have increased drastically as well. From 6 in 2007, when most of us entered kindergarten to 51 in 2019. And now we’re leaving with a global pandemic.
This pandemic has taken away many things, but it isn’t all bad for me. I’ve been able to video chat, play games, watch movies. Doing schoolwork is honestly a breeze because I can do it in my own bed. It isn’t nice to be all cooped up in a house unable to leave for a month, and it won’t be for whatever time we have left. And I understand that it’s a must, to protect those that may be at risk. But that doesn’t mean opportunities are lost. I’ve had less homework and fewer extracurriculars, which means I get to play catchup with some friends that I rarely talked to beforehand. Hearing their perspectives and bonding over the little things really makes the point that together we stand. Yes, we’re going through this unideal time, but we’re doing it together. Even if we must stand at least six feet apart.
If I had to use one word to describe the people I’ve come to know the past 18 years, it’d be resilient. Getting knocked down seven times only leads to getting up eight. I do believe that the class of 2020 has seen enough of the atrocities that have taken place since we were born that we will soon be the leaders of the world. Not even because we want to be, but because we have to.
It’s nothing to be afraid of. It is very disappointing to not have the things we’ve been striving for ever since we saw what could be. I wanted to go to prom, to sign my friends yearbooks, to walk at graduation, and everything else that came with completing senior year in high school. I had been looking forward to that since my first day of kindergarten. But if we get knocked down seven times, we get up eight. The most we can do is learn.
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