To the Class of 2020

Dear Class of 2020,

I think it’s safe to say that this semester has been the hardest semester ever for us, thanks to COVID-19. Throughout the past month, it has not hit me yet that we will not be going back to our high school ever again as students; we won’t be able to see our teachers one last time to hear them wish us their best in person, and we might not see some our friends again. The same realizations are being felt by every graduate at the moment worldwide.

A lot of us are planning on going to college this fall, but we don’t even know if we will have physical classes in the fall of this year. No one will truly understand how much this prospect is disappointing for us considering the first day of college classes is a lifetime milestone.

We are likely the first class to ever experience a pandemic the year of graduation. Luckily for us, we did not have to worry about the stress of finals, which is good, because this semester has been chaotic.

Throughout this whole mess, we have to learn how to stay positive somehow.

We can stay positive that, although postponed, we are still planning on having a graduation, seeing our friends and teachers again, and will try to capture the feeling of closure in our last moments of high school.

Within the last few weeks, we found out our graduation is being postponed until July 24th. I’m sure the whole Cherokee High School Class of 2020 cried their eyes out because we would be seeing our friends and teachers again. Many schools and colleges will not have any ceremony or will have virtual ceremonies.

A graduation ceremony is one of those lifetime milestones never forgotten. For some, high school was harder than ever or they may have been a first-generation graduate. For our classmates in these situations, especially, walking across that stage is so much more than routine ceremony. Each step symbolizes a moment through a challenging journey or stressful moments leading to this one. Hard times like the stress of three tests in one day, being anxious over whether the senior project would pass or fail you, or the outside situations competing for time and attention.

High school was stressful, but it hasn’t stopped us from getting our diplomas and walking across that stage even if our plans were disrupted, and even without ceremonies across the country, the victory is still ours. I’m genuinely excited to see where my classmates will end up in many years time–maybe being a successful doctor, lawyer, engineer, maybe opening up your own business, becoming an artist, etc. We all have big plans in mind as we finish our final chapter of high school. Throughout the whole COVID-19 quarantine, I realized that I’m extremely proud to be in the class of 2020. We handled this pretty well, I think.

I hope my classmates and other people that are in the class of 2020 achieve all of their goals that they set for themselves.

Your fellow senior,

Mallory

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