Senior year of high school is a big year. From your last first day, to your last time on the field, to the day you walk across the stage, senior year is one you will NEVER forget. However, the class of 2020 is dealing with a very unprecedented situation: COVID-19. My brother is a part of that class, and he was having a trying year to begin with.
During football season this fall, he suffered a knee injury that ended his high school sports career. He is a three-sport athlete, playing football, lacrosse, and wrestling for our school. But even though he couldn't be on the field playing the sports he loved alongside teammates that had become family, he was still right there on the sidelines, wearing his jersey, and cheering on his team.
He was a leader on and off the field. He had maybe the best record of grades I have seen (and he never lets me forget it). His dedication to the things he loves and the way he works to reach his goals is something that is extremely admirable. He worked extremely hard and kept his grades in sparkling condition to be able to get into his dream school, the one he has wanted to attend since he was a kid.
I am so proud to say that he has joined the North Carolina State University class of 2024. He has always wanted to be a part of the wolfpack, and now he is. And while I know he's ready to get there, he has to miss out on big senior milestones that he worked so hard for. He doesn't seem to be too phased by everything that's happening, but I know it hurts. I was supposed to be watching him walk across the stage and get his diploma in about two weeks. Not only was that stripped away from him and his classmates, but that moment was also taken from the family members who cheered him on the whole way.
I've been away at college for the last two years of his high school career, and I feel like I missed watching him grow up. The biggest upside for me (selfishly) is that he will be going to school about an hour and a half closer to where I do so I'll have easier access to seeing him. And while he has been a grade-A pain in my butt for 18 years, I love him more than anything.
So, congratulations, little brother. I am so, so proud of you. The way you have taken in the situation and made the best of it that you could has been incredible to watch. I hope you carry any lessons this has taught you throughout your college years and further. Keep working hard, and don't stop chasing your dreams.
I love you endlessly.