An Open Letter to the Graduating Class of 2020.
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An Open Letter to the Graduating Class of 2020.

Cause 'Rona is rearranging #gradszn in an unprecedented, and UNEXPECTED way.

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An Open Letter to the Graduating Class of 2020.
Amari Gilmore

Dear Graduating Seniors,

Whether you have cried until your eyes ran dry, screamed until your voice went hoarse, or just stared blankly while trying to figure out what to do now that your year has "ended", please know your feelings are valid. The precautionary measures our various schools have chosen to take may save millions of lives. And, as I am sure we could all agree, we want millions of lives to be saved.

We, meaning you and I (yup, I am also a 2020 grad) understand that peoples well-being takes precedent over our own right to participate in the rituals associated with graduation. But we are still devastated (or at least really, really irritated) by the fact that our last chapter of school was abruptly ended.

Many of us didn't get to say good-bye to our friends, coworkers, or campus-families due to school shut-downs. Many of us didn't, or won't get to enjoy the "You-done-did-good" pre-graduation ceremonies promised to us mere months ago. And many of us didn't get to come to terms with exiting school- we lost precious planning and preparation time due to COVID-19's "take-over" in the states.

Class of 2020, this s*it sucks... and I am sorry we are all going through it. But I've been reminded in the midst of my sadness that we are all, still, incredibly blessed.

Class of 2020 (specifically college grads), we are the lucky ones. Yes, we may not have gotten the chance to say our heartfelt good-byes to our college experience, but we were fortunate enough to have had a college experience in the first place! We are still apart of the 4% of the world that gets to learn past compulsory schooling. (that's right, not everyone goes to college... or high school for that matter).

We may not have the fun graduation ceremonies previous graduates had (I really hope that isn't the case though...) but we do have countless memories, life-lessons, and experiences stemming from our time at school. At West Chester University of Pennsylvania, I learned to take risk (thanks Dr. Helion * Dr. Dean), to speak up (Thanks Dr. Travis, Dr. Foeman, and Dr. Lawton), and live my dreams out loud (Thanks Dr. Martin, and the many other professionals who supported me). I explored the blindingly beautiful mountain tops of South Africa, and learned a thing or two about what Cayman-Kind means. I made a lot of mistakes and experienced a lot of rejection, feedback, and mercy.Y'all, I would not be who I am today without the past four and half years.

Class of 2020, I know you might be struggling to come to terms with the fact that your college experience is suspended (or, in many cases, over), but I urge you to think on the bright side:

We are the lucky ones who got to participate in something life-changing. We are the lucky ones who claimed our own spots within that illustrious 4% of the world that gets educated. We are the lucky ones who get to chase our dreams, our "bags", and our futures without comprise.

Despite how hurt I am over our dear friend 'Rona's senior-year graduation celebration robbery, I know I am one of the lucky ones.

I am a #gratefulgrad

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