To The Class of 2020,
It’s hard for me to decide what to say to you all in the midst of this crazy situation. I could try to console you about the important events you’re sadly missing. I could send a message of celebration for what each of you incredible people has accomplished. I could share my overwhelming excitement for your future. But, none of these feel very useful and I’m sure you’ve heard those before, so we’ll take a more practical route.
When students come to my class, I share my only expectations for the whole year: work hard and be kind. These are the same expectations I hold my own children to. They are the values I have chosen to live by. As you think about the last 4 (or 12!) years of school, many of you will be able to honestly say you worked really hard. Many of you won’t. It’s okay. A lot of you will be able to say you were truly kind to those around you. Many of you won’t. It’s okay.
My message to you is one of fresh starts. While leaving CHS may feel like an ending, especially right now, it’s actually an opportunity to make a conscious choice about how you will live your life from this point on. Regardless of how you have behaved in the past, you can now choose to work hard. You can choose to be kind. You can decide to live more honestly. You can vow to be more selfless or, on the flip-side, to value yourself more. You get to choose, but you must choose. Take time before your next step to decide which values you will live by.
Do not be daunted by this task. Your choices will not be set in stone, and some you choose may not work. It’s okay. You may find you originally expected too much or too little of yourself. You may decide what once mattered to you doesn’t anymore. It’s okay. You can change your mind. It’s the decision to live by principles you are proud of that matters.
Many of you will begin school again in the Fall. Many will enter the workforce. Some will head to military bases. Some abroad. Some of you still need to spend some time playing Fortnite while watching TikTok to figure it out. It’s okay. This is your fresh start. And if ever you are at a loss, I lend you my values of hard work and kindness. They have served me well. After all, they led me to a job working with smart, amazing, compassionate, hilarious, powerful people like all of you.
Stay strong, class of 2020. Your life has only just begun. ❤