Class of 2021

To all the Seniors graduating in the Class of 2021 ....

I know this year has been difficult; it was nothing like you imagined your final year in high school to be. You planned on walking across the stage with your friends to receive your diploma in front of countless loved ones. You planned on dancing the night away at your prom, celebrating the culmination of your youth. You planned on parties, dates, games, and being able to celebrate your final year before the reins of adulthood are handed to you. You planned. And nothing turned out as expected.

But I believe everything happens for a reason and the Class of 2021 will be stronger for it.

You will leave this year indestructible, more able to adapt to change.

You have persevered despite the difficulties that COVID has brought upon you, and you will learn to succeed, to step up to the challenge.

You have learned to be more forgiving of yourself, to give yourself grace when things didn't go as planned.

You have learned from one another to communicate, to rely on your peers and loved ones for support, even when you can't be close by.

You have learned to be interconnected, to understand that we were all in this together and only together could we overcome.

You have learned that life is absolutely precious and fragile, to not take any small part of it for granted.

And you have learned to be grateful for what you still have.

Though your graduation is upon you and your plans have all been changed, you still get to walk away with the lessons that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught you. Change is certain in your life, but how you adapt to overcome speaks volumes of the person you are and the person you will become.

Hang in there, Class of 2021, for you are the Quaran-teens that will change the world!

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