An Open Letter To The UCLA Graduates Of 2020
Start writing a post
Student Life

An Open Letter To The UCLA Graduates Of 2020

This is your makeshift commencement speech.

477
An Open Letter To The UCLA Graduates Of 2020
Photo by Vasily Koloda on Unsplash

Dear Graduates,

I would like to start off by saying congratulations, and what a surprise it is for me to be writing this letter as the class of 2020's goodbye to UCLA. As much as I am surprised to be doing this right now, you may not think "surprised" is the right word to use. According to Oxford dictionary, a surprise is defined by "an unexpected or astonishing event, fact, or thing," almost making a "surprise'' sound like a good thing to be received.

Despite its positive connotation, let's be honest: you would all rather be at a real graduation, put on by UCLA, full of expensive looking decorations and credible guest speakers, than be "surprised" by having me, a menial junior, as your substitute, second rate host. "Surprise" was once a word that held aspiration, hope, and excitement. 2020, however, has undeniably distorted our interpretation of this term.

Was anyone shocked by the global pandemic that broke out and tormented our plans for the year and thought "oo, what a surprise!" Or how about the closure of local businesses and lay offs on a global scale? No one? These are just a few examples of how 2020 managed to ruin the word "surprise."

You're probably thinking "wow Kira, what a fun, uplifting speech. Is this almost over?" Not so fast! I am going to provide you with some unsolicited advice about your futures with all of the credibility I have in my humble experiences as a co-dependent, unemployed adult.

As a group of young 20-some year olds and college graduates recently graced with your final nod of recognition of a flimsy piece of paper signed by Gene Block, you are the next group of young adults entering the workforce. I am confident many of you will go on to be successful doctors, famous CEOs, accomplished lawyers, honest politicians, or whatever your dreams may be.

Buuutttt, due to these recent "surprises," your paths to these sought after careers may now be different. The plans you've had in place for years are now overgrown with brush, or --a better analogy -- are now destroyed by a brush fire. Nonetheless, it is more likely than not that the path you had in place is no longer laid out how you imagined.

The odds now are stacked against you. Or are they?

You are the first group of graduates that has not only experienced, but lived the effects of these recent traumatic events and have suffered the losses that come with them.

You do not get a real graduation.

Your jobs and internships were cancelled.

You didn't get one final goodbye to your people for the last 4 years.

You are at risk for an unprecedented virus.

And, you are entering one of the worst economies in recent memory!

Nothing will ever be able to compensate for these feelings of frustration and loss. However, how you adapt to these sudden changes is what will make your class so prosperous.

The plan, for sure, has changed..and surprise!!! YOUR CLASS has been deemed the trailblazers --responsible for the rest of our generations to follow but more importantly, just me, don't forget I'm graduating next year.

Although 2020 has given you enough negative surprises, one good thing that 2020 forcefully contributed to your lives is the obstacles that have gifted you a brand new skill set. Forget remembering how to dissect a frog, pass a bill or prove the pythagorean theorem. This year's graduates will be equipped with an incredible sense of resourcefulness, resilience, and determination (and much patience) to achieve their goals. You all have been forced to adapt your plans and contrived new paths to climb the ladder of success and professional growth.

In conclusion, it is quite ironic how some of the people I have admired for being most stable and calm are graduating in one of the most chaotic climates to date. What started as a milestone of the year 2020 has turned out to be full of negative "surprises".

If nothing else, I leave you with one poorly kept secret: 2020 isn't over yet. As graduates, it is your time to take it back. You were promised this year the second you were born 22-24 years ago as your year of graduation, arguably one of the most significant days of your entire lives. You did it! You graduated! Not from USC, but from the #1 public university in the entire United States! Let that sink in.

You are graduating alongside some of the most competitive applicants in the world.

The recent surprises and challenges bestowed upon you also offered new opportunities to startle you into a new perspective. Take these unique experiences and use them to effect change, promote good, advance your career, inspire risky ventures, help a friend or a stranger, and most importantly, make the word "surprise" into a good thing again.


Report this Content

In an already unprecedented political landscape, things aren't looking so bright for mail-in voters heading into November's election. In 46 states and Washington D.C., post offices received a warning that mail-in ballots may not be counted on time to count on election day, according to a report by the Washington Post.

Keep Reading... Show less
FOX

"New Girl" is one of the best sitcoms of all time. Honestly, it is so much fun to watch, so much fun to relate to, just all around a great show.

Not only is a great show, it has so many different great settings, obviously including the loft. If you live by Nick Miller quotes and desperately tried to learn how to play "True American," you need to buy these things because you are a true "New Girl" fan.

Keep Reading... Show less

You know those items you've been pinning to your Home board on Pinterest for [insert amount of time]? Well, it's officially the moment to turn that wishlist into a married life reality, and it's going to be SO fun.

But, before you get to shopping and adding things to your upgraded bridal wishlist (sorry, Pinterest, it was lovely while it lasted), you'll first want to decide where you want to open your registry (or registries, if you want options). Here are 17 of the best websites and stores to consider saying "I do" to for your wedding registry, to have and to hold for as long as people are buying you wedding gifts.

Keep Reading... Show less

If you've ever been in the dating game, or currently are, chances are you've had a date gone wrong. These are often times super embarrassing, but they are always funny to look back on.

Keep Reading... Show less

I just recently got engaged and planning a wedding during a pandemic is actually kind of a nightmare.

A lot of venues are taken for 2021 because of corona brides and grooms who have had to reschedule their weddings and the same goes for other vendors and literally everything else.

Keep Reading... Show less

While promoting her most recent movie, "Work It," Sabrina Carpenter has divulged some of her favorite beauty products to interviewers.

Keep Reading... Show less

When I say we can't stop thinking about the relationship advice Miley Cyrus dropped on "Call Her Daddy" today, I mean it literally.

Her truth bombs hit me (and most who listened) like a wrecking ball and coupled with the release of her new song "Midnight Sky," we're going to need some time to process the greatness. In case you haven't listened yet (what are you waiting for?), here are 10 relationship tips Miley shared that we should all live by for the rest of time.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Founders Of Color: Rec Room's Dre Taylor On What Blackness Can Look Like And Not Working For Free

"It mattered to me that when we were depicting racial diversity for Rec Room, we showed the broad spectrum of what Blackness can look like."

Rec Room

The world of sustainable fashion is inundated with marketing gimmicks, false advertising, and large corporations cutting corners — Rec Room is the pure antithesis of that.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 At-Home Therapy Tips You Need, No Matter What Your Therapy Routine Is

Whether you're in a Zoom session or live-chatting, make sure your home therapy space is good to go.

No matter what stigmas you held about therapy before this year, I'm sure 2020 has affirmed that we could ALL use a nice long therapy session. Between wildfires that took over an entire continent, a global health crisis, and what's sure to be one giant circus of an election in the United States, we need help and we need it now.

The fact of the matter is, therapy has been a helpful, valid resource long before the world decided to become one giant dumpster fire. Having a safe space to discuss what's going on in your life, worries you have, and struggles you're facing has become a very normal thing for individuals' mental health.

Keep Reading... Show less

Dunkin' just announced that they'll be releasing their fall menu earlier than ever — set to debut on August 19 — and that it'll include new menu options this season, including a new signature pumpkin spice latte. Let me just say, Starbucks has some fall-menu competition now.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments