A Salute to the Seniors of 2020 – Coronavirus #6

At West Craven High School in North Carolina, Principal Wallace decided to surprise every graduating senior by visiting each of their homes. He delivered signs to place in their yards and congratulated them on their big accomplishments.  Turns out, this principal was not the only principal to have such an idea. From Texas to Massachusetts to California to Florida, principals developed similar gestures to congratulate the seniors.

Joe’s Perspective: Like these principals, I feel for these seniors. They truly missed out on so much, much of which they will never fully realize. For a moment, let’s pay tribute to the class of 2020 and some of the traditional memories they are missing.

  • The final sports season. Ya know, most athletes give so much over 4 years to finally dominate during their senior seasons. I think of the athletes who took smaller roles as underclassmen, just waiting for the opportunity to shine as seniors.
  • I think of the multiple someones who lost out on that final role in the cancelled school play or the final band/choir recital.
  • Every child remembers their senior prom (good, bad or indifferent). That memory stays with you forever. Yet these seniors will not have those pictures in the photo album, the memories of awkward dancing with friends or the nightmare of pinning on a corsage. The tux, the dress, the proud parents. It’s just gone and you just can’t get that one back.
  • The anticipation of the final days at school.  10 days, then 9, then 3, then 2 and then the true joy of that final day. On my final day in high school, we had a water balloon fight in the parking lot after school. There were pictures, hugs, smiles and cheers. It really felt like no one wanted to leave. Contrast that experience with this year’s final days of school. On March 12th, these seniors were given a 24 hours notice to clean out their lockers. Not one of them ever imagined that this somber day would be their last day of high school. It was an unceremonial, “See ya.”
  • That big graduation day and all that goes with it. The walk across the stage, the moving of the tassel, the loud family cheer when the principal calls your name. The traditional speech by the valedictorian, the sendoff from that rowdy teacher. The tossing of your cap. That small moment of a proud tear running down your face when no one is looking. Nope, not this year.
  • While everyone is probably holding out hope, how many open houses will be cancelled? Man, this is really a cool moment. Even your cooky Aunt Shirley comes for this one and gives you $50 in a card. Your friends come and for once, you don’t even have to help clean up.
  • And, these are just the big moments that everyone thinks of. What about just hanging out with friends on a Friday night? Or laughing after practice? Or that classmate you just began dating, but can’t ever really date? Or that goodbye hug from your favorite teacher? Or that senior awards night? Or maybe that spring job that you were counting on to save some money to use at college? Nope, all gone.

To The Seniors:sayWhile this coronavirus pandemic put a damper on the end of your senior year, don’t let it define your high school career.  The class of 2020 is a unique story in the lore of human history. No one will be able to tell a similar story. Someday you seniors will be 50, like me, and you will tell your kids about covid-19. They will nonchalantly blow you off and something like, “Ya, I read about that in history class earlier this year. That must have sucked.” But, you seniors will have quite a story to tell. It might be a sad moment in your life, but your life will undoubtedly overshadow this moment in time. To you, I say congratulations. This is just the beginning.

Your Turn: What is your message to the graduating seniors of 2020?

Comments 22

  1. I would say to them that they have worked so hard through all the years of schooling. I’m sorry that your senior year had to come to this and I wish you would’ve gotten to do all the fun things. Don’t let this define you and your senior year because you still had a lot of fun time and memories. This pandemic will definitely shape you into a better person and student.

  2. I would say to them that they have worked so hard through all the years of schooling. I’m sorry that your senior year had to come to this and I wish you would’ve gotten to do all the fun things.

  3. I would say that although its hard to not be able to celebrate the things you look forward to focus on the positives, you did graduate and you and your family are healthy. Also find ways big or small to celebrate in a unique way because you deserve it

  4. I would say, Im sorry you didnt get to finish your senior year but you have so much ahead of you to focus on and be excited about.

  5. My message is for ten to stay strong and stay positive in the day of uncertainty and that people really do care and are proud of your accomplishments

  6. My message for them is to always have a bright side of thinking they made it this far and their hard work doesn’t go unrecognized.

  7. I want to say congratulations you did it! I’m very sorry it got cut short , but all you did will not be forgotten!

  8. Dear class of 2020
    As we navigate through these difficult times, we have thought of you often and realize just how significant the impact has been for you, our class of 2020 and for your families and friends. Our goal is to provide you with A graduation event that honors and celebrate you and your accomplishments🖤

  9. Dear class of 2020,

    I’m extremely sorry that your high school experience got cut short, but the rest of your life is ahead of you! Go do great things!

  10. For the class of 2020 I want to thank them for being role models for me. I want to thank them for being my friends. I also would like to wish them luck on their future endeavors and although times are tough to stay positive.

  11. i would say that i’m sorry they were not able to experience that celebration at the end of the high school career but at least they graduated and are healthy to proceed in life to college and that they will be remembered for all their accomplishments

  12. I would say to keep a positive outlook on things and everything they’ve accomplished hasn’t gone unnoticed.

  13. even though your senior year was cut short focus on the moments you loved during the year not the ones you have missed because of the corona virus.

  14. My message is that even though you missed out on making precious memories, you can’t stay on what could of happened in the past. Focus on your future to come and the memories you can make. You are very strong and I’m sorry that an important part of your life was taken away. But know your hard work still has paid off. It will get better, it just takes time. Stay strong

  15. i would tell them that even even though they’re missing out on part of their senior year, just to think about the memories they’ve made throughout their high school years. To think about how much they’ve accomplished and all the friends and memories they’ve made along the way.

  16. i would say congratulations you finish high school maybe not the way you thought but you worked hard and got through it

  17. I would say, I know it’s sad you won’t be able to experience prom and all that but you have so much ahead of you, so don’t dwell on the past

  18. I would say you worked hard and you may have not have finished the way you wanted but you have more ahead of you.

  19. I am proud they pushed through even when it got tough. They didn’t let something huge like this stop them from success. They worked so hard for this and deserve every ounce of congratulation.

  20. A huge congratulations to the class of 2020! You guys have experienced something that is truly unimaginable with unfortunate results but have managed to stay strong. You guys didn’t deserve your last year to end like this but your accomplishments and success will not be forgotten.

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