Today I watched the last episode of Modern Family and in the episode, Jay says, “Let’s all just enjoy each other while we can.” Hearing him say that brought a flood of memories to my mind and pain to my heart. So many of us didn’t know the last time we hung out with friends or went to dinner with family would be the last time for a while. We didn’t know to soak in every moment together and we took it for granted. The most unfortunate thing is that many of us didn’t know that our senior year of high school or college would be cut short.
Our lives have been abruptly halted and we do not know when the pause button will be tapped to resume normal living. For the seniors in high school, I only hope it is before senior year ends. We all know that the last month of high school is filled with fun and exciting times. I will not go into detail about how much I loved my last month of high school. But, I will tell you, I sympathize with you.
I can only imagine all of the emotions you are feeling. But, I want you to know that all those emotions are valid. The feeling of something being taken away from you that you looked forward to hurts and hurts bad. Take the time to grieve over it and process your feelings.
If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is how easily a life can be taken and how quickly time goes by. I feel as if yesterday was college move-in day, but in reality, I just planned my fall schedule for my junior year. This pandemic has taught me that I must cherish my time in college and how lucky I am. This pandemic has taught me to not take anything for granted because you never know when something can change. We all used to “hate” school, but now we are yearning to go back and would rather be in a class than on a Zoom call. While we can mourn the loss we have all felt, there is hope in looking toward the future.
When the time finally comes for you to head off to college, your stomach will be full of butterflies. I remember driving past my high school on my way to move in and broke down crying. Now, I can’t wait to get back to Stockton University even after being home just for the weekend. College becomes your home away from home. You will get to have those experiences too. You will get to college and start a new journey of your life full of great experiences and new friends.
Class of 2020, your time is not up. You have so much to look forward to in college. College is where you really get to develop who you will be as a person. You will make mistakes to learn from, try new things and build friendships that will last a lifetime. Take advantage of every opportunity that you can. Say yes to hanging out with friends on a weekday, try something that scares you, make new friends and maybe even participate in formal recruitment. All of my favorite memories are with my sorority sisters. From initiation, formals, social events and just hanging out with sisters, these are the moments I will forever cherish. The support of my sisters is what helps me flourish and stand back up. No matter what you do, step out of your comfort zone and just have fun!
The future is bright and there is still so much to look forward to. Though nothing can make up or replace what you will have missed in your senior year, you now know the importance of living in the moment, cherishing those moments and not taking those moments for granted.