Class of 2020: This Too Shall Pass

 Written By Felecia Causey Photography By: Felecia Causey Models: Kathy Bradforn (daughter) JaBria Bradford, Chenique Jeffress (son) Jadyn Miller, Shay Ellis (son) Samuel Ellis Jr., Ebony Sanders (daughter) Frednasha Rogers, Tara Osborne (daughter) Erin Jefferson, and Shanika Pritchett (daughter) Quenterria Washington

  As I scroll down my timeline, and see all the sad and heartbreaking things that are going on all around the world. With COVID-19, affecting many people's lives from losing loved ones, not being able to work,  not being able to financially pay their bills, or purchase essential things for the household. We were seeing things that are normally on the shelf, which are currently being sold out.  People  were panicking and afraid because things as small as tissue, rubbing alcohol, and hand sanitizer are not available to buy. Then I kept scrolling down my social media’s timeline and I read the heartbroken seniors and their parents, sharing how sad and upset they were because many events such as prom, they would not be able to attend, and then for many were not able to finish the last season of a spring sport.  I know many will not understand what a parent and a 2020 senior may feel, but just show some compassion. 

Most people are aware of the terrifying things going on around here, and I am sure the seniors are aware too.  Let's take a few minutes and realize how they may feel.  A track and field, a softball, baseball, and soccer players had to cut their season short. The students that trained hard all year weren't able to show what they were prepared to do. They will never have the opportunity to play high school sports again.

With what the world is facing now, it’s very serious, and many may feel that graduation doesn’t count for much. The parent that had sleepless nights, because he or she worried about their child who struggled everyday to make grades that would allow them to graduate.  The once teen mother who had to drop out of high school, that waited for the appointed graduation date, to see the child that she sacrificed so much for to do better than her, and get his/her diploma.  The teen who chose to cancel all social life and to study harder than fellow classmates, anticipated the graduation date to make commencement speech. The student who most people always looked down, will be the first person in their family to receive a high school diploma. The grateful child that was not even supposed to make it to be 18 years old, but did. What about the senior that was walking across the stage in memory of a deceased parent?  Although many people may downplay it, due to what’s going on, for some, it’s so much more to so many kids.

Senior prom, senior trips, and more are those once-in-a-lifetime memories the kids will never get back.  The different emotions, I am sure most of the 2020 graduates are feeling, should be understandable.  Although most schools say that graduation will be rescheduled at a later date, most schools haven’t made any official decisions. I’m sure they are waiting to select a date when such a gathering can be conducted safely.  

If you have a senior or know a 2020 graduate, motivate them and encourage them that, even through these hard times, this shall pass.  The expectations of having an amazing senior year, and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, but unfortunately “life” gave them a detour.  There are a lot of things we can’t fix, but try your best to make the best out of it.

Seniors you don’t have to feel guilty to be upset over something some may seem to feel like you are being selfish.  You are allowed to feel whatever you feel.  Although we are on lockdown and many graduations are either postponed , that doesn’t block your amazing accomplishment.

The main concern is the health and safety of everyone, and there is nothing worth jeopardizing anyone's life.  This year’s high school graduates, this is just a bump in the road,  you have to get around.   The triumph that you are facing, now doesn’t determine your future. I know it may seem unfair, and you are trying to deal with the conclusion that many priceless experiences will not be able to be captured. You may feel robbed, and it’s weighing on you.  Although the people around them can not bring all the experiences back, but you have people in your corner, that cares. 
COVID-19 may have postponed graduation, but stay encourage. You have come this far, and you will receive everything you worked so hard for. Try your best to stay positive and do a lot of self observation on things to work on to better yourself for your success. There is nothing anyone can say to make up for experiences you are losing, which are supposed to be some of the best memories of your life. Your mind will swirl with different emotions, as you try to wrap your brain around the things that the United States is facing. There is hope, and I do know, everything will work out. Please take advantage of opportunities that are presented to you, and use the time to invest in hobbies you have been wanting to do for a while.  Please make sure you reflect on what your plans are after high school. As I know with every fiber in me God GOT YOU!! One of the best piece of advice, I can give you is, don't worry to much on stuff you have no control of. Although you may not see it now, you will make it.

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