Dear Class of 2020: I Wish, I Hope, I Know

Dear Seniors:

 

I wish it didn’t end like this. 

8 weeks ago I was starting the thrill ride of my last undergraduate semester at Kutztown. As much as I disliked student teaching, I was trekking along. I could see the finish-line right in front of me. “Only 10 more weeks,” I told myself. The days quickly ticking by until spring break was right around the corner. “I just have to make it to spring break.” 

Going into it, I was chanting “3 more days of teaching before high school students!”, ready to move on to my second student teaching placement and meet my new students for my last 8 weeks of college. But out of nowhere it’s like my entire life did a complete 180 degree turn. And coming out of it...I don’t know what to think. I just feel...sadness. 

It’s a heavy pain, sitting on top of my lungs. I am known to have general anxiety, so I’m used to that feeling. But it’s more dense than normal. It’s constant. And I know what it is: grief. 

I felt it before. This summer my grandmother passed and the days leading up to it were filled with uncertainty. We didn’t know when it was going to happen, but we knew it was soon (kinda like this situation we were thrown into). We were unsure of what was happening and we just wanted to know so we could prepare. 

I wish it didn’t come so soon. 

Who knew that Tuesday, March 3rd was my last Student Government Board meeting as an elected member, that Thursday, March 5th was my last concert I would ever perform in as an undergraduate, that Sunday, March 1st would be my last fraternity meeting as the recording secretary, that Saturday, February 22nd would be the last tour I would give to a family as a university tour guide? Would I have changed what I have done? No, I’m not saying that, but those moments would’ve meant much more. 

Granted, a death of something is sudden, and the death of our senior year came so quickly that we didn’t even know it was happening around us. We had no time for mental preparation. 

I wish I could say goodbye. 

A proper goodbye. Not a quick text message to all the group chats I’m in. I want to look my fellow elected board members in the eye as we adjourn our last meeting as a united front. I want to play one last note on my clarinet, sharing the same stage with the other seniors. I want to sing the Sigma Alpha Iota chorale one last time with my fraternity sisters. I want to make the tour guides smile one last time before leading out on tour. 

But instead of wishing, I want to start hoping. 

I hope that this is good for us. 

I know that all this downtime will be great. More time for my creative outlets and tying up loose ends at the university. We’re in a really tough situation - social distancing and self isolation, so we can’t even spend these last moments with each other. But thank God for modern technology. Although we’re apart, we’re still together. And we shouldn’t forget that. 

I hope that we push forward. 

We shouldn’t let this be a setback in any way. Take this challenge and run with it. It’s new and unprecedented but we shouldn’t let this scare us. We’re the class of 2020, we can take on anything. 

I know we will conquer this.