Let me start by saying to the Class of 2020 that I love you! I am speaking to you with two perspective ”hats’’: one as a teacher at CHS and one as a mom of a senior in this year’s graduating class. (Sigh) Oh, what a year it has been with many ups and downs! Your class will have a lot to talk about at your first high school reunion, that’s for sure!
I’ve been in education for more than twenty years, and as many of my fellow co-workers can attest, not all graduating classes that come through our halls are the same. Don’t get me wrong…they are all fabulous, but some just really stand out. Yes, that is your class of 2020! Why do you stand out? Smart, driven, talented in the arts, music, and theater, nationally ranked clubs, and how about our sports teams this year?! Another thing that really makes this graduating class shine is your enthusiasm and love for each other and our school. We are Papermakers.
So here go the “teacher hat” words of advice: The message I would like to pass onto each of you is a quote that is actually my personal motto. “Today is a gift; that’s why it’s called the present.” It’s hard to do, but so important to be present in the moment. Seniors…you can’t check out yet! We are all trying to navigate this new learning format we are in. The CHS staff loves you and is here to help you succeed and be ready for your next chapter in life. I also have a challenge for you outside your studies… love on your family a little. You probably have been doing it in quarantine, but be purposeful in your interactions, as many of you will be approaching a new normal soon and that’s without the day-to-day interactions with them. Those of you with younger siblings…they are really going to miss you next year, so make some time to create some new memories over the next few months. Change is coming.
Okay… “Mom hat” here! I have loved this graduating class since I first met many of you back in 2008 when our family moved to Camas. As parents, our ‘job’ is to protect our children and prepare them to be self-sufficient people. The time has come for each of you to spread your wings as your own independent soul. Guess what? You are ready! Many of you may be thinking about the stress of college or your next path after graduation and all this COVID-19 stuff. It truly is in these difficult and challenging days, not just now, but for years to come, that makes us grow and learn as individuals. If we didn’t have challenging days, we wouldn’t be able to appreciate the other amazing days. We are fortunate that the future paths traveled are created in pencil and we can pull out that big eraser to regroup and choose a new road, if needed, to fit our needs at that time. There is no dress rehearsal. Take care of yourself. Don’t stress. Make goals and try your best to be reflective in your life. For those of you who have had me in class, Mindful Mondays live on. Try not to compare yourself to others. If we were all the same, life would be really boring. Be sure to check in with your family, friends, coaches, and teachers who love you and are your cheerleaders to your success down a road of happiness, whatever that mold may look like for you. Life is grand, and you’re going to be amazing!
Congrats class of 2020. You are destined for greatness. And, yes, I may crash your first reunion to remind you all of it!