TO THE CLASS OF 2020 –
Thursday, April 23, 2020, was a devastating day. You found out you were going to finish your final year of high school with two months of distance learning. An hour or two later, you found out your sports and activities were canceled the rest of the year. No prom, no senior skip day, and who knows what graduation will entail at this point?
I understand how hard this is. I still remember where my last football game was (at Lincoln Field after TRF beat us in the section semi-finals), where my last basketball game was played (at UMC’s Lysaker Gymnasium vs. Red Lake County Central), and my final track meet (the sub-section track meet in Roseau).
I remember senior skip day, and I remember being in the cafeteria at Central High School with my classmates before heading up to the gym for the graduation ceremony. I remember it like it was yesterday. They were great times, and graduation was exciting and scary at the same time.
For the athletes, one thing you will realize is the fact that missing out on your last season won’t change the person you are – or will be – unless you allow it. What you have learned from athletics throughout your life (hard work, teamwork, sacrifice, overcoming adversity, goal setting, and most importantly – before success comes failure) will affect you for the rest of your life. The lessons learned from coaches, teammates, parents, teachers, etc. will help you become a successful young man or woman. As you get older, you will realize sports were important, but not because of the wins and losses, but the way they shaped the person you have become. You will still be able to compete in intramurals and different adult leagues, but it won’t be the same.
To quote John Lennon – “There are no problems, only solutions.” You are also learning that life can be extremely cruel, even if you do things the right way! Make every day the best day it can be. Give your mom and dad, or guardians, a hug and tell them thank you for everything they have done for you – and tell them you love them. Your parents need a pick me up. This pandemic has been extremely hard on them, even if they don’t show it. You might not realize how much time and effort your mom (and in some cases, dad) has put into planning your graduation reception. They could use a hug and a “don’t worry mom, everything is going to be great, and Thank you for everything you have done!”
Give your brothers and sisters a hug, or at the least spend time with them. If you have younger siblings, you have no idea how much they look up to you! Enjoy this extra family time, because you won’t see them as often as you think throughout the rest of your life. And if this pandemic has taught you anything, it should be – You never know what tomorrow brings. Live every day like it is your last!
You might not see some of your classmates again. That might seem crazy, but it is true. You have been through good times, bad times, and pandemic times with your classmates. You share something that NO OTHER class can claim. I know it might suck right now. But this will make you a stronger person. Stay positive, stay in touch with classmates, and if some are struggling, reach out to them.
I wish all of you in the Class of 2020, the best of luck. Be strong, stay healthy, and remember there are no problems, just solutions. Make the best of every situation. Congratulations to the class of 2020! Thanks for the memories, thanks for entertaining us over the years, and good luck in your next step in life. We are cheering for you, and we will never forget you. Good Luck!