You were supposed to walk across that stage.
You should have gotten the chance to “senior slump” and skip out a bit in the last few weeks.
You should have gotten to go to prom.
You should have spent these last days hanging with friends before you go your separate ways into adulthood.
But this stupid virus has ruined it and you can never go back.
It’s not fair. It’s just plain wrong. You’re angry. You’re sad. Maybe a bit depressed… and you have every right to be.
Life is confusing and unpredictable and I’m sorry you’re having to learn this in such a painful way so early. I really am. I cried for you today. I took a moment to remember what it was like for me to have my own senior year ripped away when someone hurt me very badly and changed the course of my life.
I didn’t get to graduate with my friends. I had to drop out to care for a premature infant I never asked for (but am grateful to have brought into this world.)
When I realized I would not complete my senior year as I had dreamed of, the loneliness set in. I stayed up late at night until my eyes would no longer keep open. There was an emptiness I still cannot explain. A hopelessness.
Perhaps it is not this extreme for you. Maybe you have supportive, emotionally healthy parents to guide you through this great loss. I pray that is the case. I did not.
So for those of you who are in the same boat as I was; feeling the weight of the world with no one to help you shoulder it. Or for those of you who simply feel your parents don’t understand even if they do care deeply…
You are not alone. There is nothing new under the sun. I can assure you it DOES get better. And here’s the thing…
YOU are the generation that will help reset the trajectory of our broken world, and this experience will inform how that happens.
YOU will not be entitled like so many from my generation. You will not expect things handed to you, as you understand how easily they can be taken away, even when you work hard for them.
YOU will be the warriors that fight for justice instead of complaining about the lack of it. You will be the ones who know how to properly mourn your loses and engage your grief, so that you don’t blame others for your misery.
YOU will be the ones who heal the world by refusing to let your emotions dictate they way you treat people who don’t think, look, and act like you.
YOU… regardless of what certificate you are handed or not, are being equipped to lead this world into a new era of boldness and freedom.
But first you will have to learn acceptance. You will have to learn to process your agony and disappointment, so that you can bear the weight of this great calling.
I believe you can do this and I am praying for each and every one of you, my warriors.
So get busy praying and processing because there is greatness inside of you that will come next.
The world is counting on you, and I know you won’t let us down.