Dear Matignon: A Letter to My High School in the Time of the Coronavirus

Dear Matignon, 

It’s been a while. Have I told you that I miss you? I’m almost finished with my sophomore year at Boston University now, and I wouldn’t have made it here without you. In the halls and classrooms of our little school, I became the person who I am today. When I look back at those four years, I wouldn’t change the experience for the world.  

This one is dedicated to the seniors. I’m sorry that your end-of-year celebrations have been snatched away by an unfeeling virus. Though we have all had our share of disappointment during the past couple of months, I cannot imagine the dejection you must be feeling. I know my words don’t make up for what you are missing, but I hope that in them you can find a bit of solace. What you need to know is this: the coronavirus does not erase your high school experience. 

You have a right to feel sad, angry, and disappointed about not being able to walk across the stage at graduation. You are allowed to wish for your last pep rally or performance. What you shouldn’t do is let this situation color your whole time at school, because not every good thing about high school happens in your last year.  

After two years away from Matignon, it is not the hyped-up last couple of months I think about when I get nostalgic, but the moments along the way. Snow starting to fall on a walk back from Dunks, post-rehearsal Heathers karaoke on the auditorium stage, grabbing a bag of Cheez-Its from Mr. Frassa, instantly becoming best friends with my locker neighbor, crazy knee socks, first day of school Starbucks with my cousin, every morning spent laughing with my friends sitting outside the front office—these are what made high school so special to me.  

I’m not going to tell you not to feel your feelings, because they are natural and the alternative is unhealthy. But remember that your good times don’t go away because of bad times, and your friends don’t disappear just because you can’t see them in person. (Talk to them if you haven’t. We all need to hold each other (virtually!) a little tighter right now.) Since we can’t change the current situation to allow for the “big” moments, I encourage you to find your own small moments. You may be surprised at how big they really are. 

Congratulations Class of 2020! Once a Warrior, always a Warrior. Lots of love from Angelina Kemmett, Class of 2018.

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