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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FIT chapter.

Dear Class of 2020,

We did it. I know it may not seem like we did, but I promise you that all of your accomplishments and hard work will not go unnoticed. The coronavirus pandemic may have taken away our graduation ceremonies, semi-formal, grad week events, graduation portrait sessions or one final hug with your friends on campus, but it cannot take away everything you have worked so hard for.

This is a tragic time to be living in and it is hard to stay positive when people are losing their lives, their jobs and their loved ones to this deadly virus. But it’s okay to be mournful of the things you have lost, no matter how small they may seem compared to the world’s tragedies happening around us. For a lot of us, this is the last graduation we will ever have and our feelings are valid.

My emotions have been all over the place these last few months, and I’m sure many of you can say the same. Our final semester of our senior year was ripped away from us. Not getting to say one final goodbye and close this chapter of my life has affected me more than I initially thought it would. By the start of the spring semester, the senioritis was real. I thought I was ready to leave college and move on but frankly, this pandemic has made me realize that I should stop wishing things away and cherish my life in the moment. I think I can speak for a lot of people when I say it’s easy to plan tomorrow, next week or always be looking forward to the next trip, the next chapter, but it’s important to slow down and take in every moment, because it can be taken away in an instant.

You may not want to celebrate your graduation at a time like this, but I urge you to. Facetime with your college friends on the originally scheduled day of graduation, celebrate with a big dinner with your family or buy yourself that thing you’ve been waiting to treat yourself with. You deserve everything and more. Just because the “traditional” ways to celebrate are not feasible in a time like this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to enjoy all of your hard work. It’s okay to be sad, and it’s okay to be angry. But I promise you this is not the end and we will get through this. Congratulations on your graduation, you did it!

I’m a senior at the Fashion Institute of Technology majoring in Advertising and Marketing Communications with double minors in Psychology and Film & Media Studies! I'm a coffee addict, makeup fanatic and a true Long Islander! If I’m not in class, I’m usually watching movies as I dream of working in the film industry!