Welcome Aboard Class of 2021
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Student Life

Welcome Aboard Class of 2021

An in-depth letter to the graduating class of 2021.

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Welcome Aboard Class of 2021

Congratulations to the class of 2021, or shall I say welcome aboard to my most distraught year of high school. I remember the last couple of months in high school that I had left, I began to think that something was completely wrong. I thought there was supposed to be a white sheet cake involved with my class throwing up graduation caps and hugging all of my friends, but this wasn't the case. I lost my job, practically all of my savings, and my plans for the future. It seems frivolous to feel sad about losing the one thing I was looking forward to, my graduation ceremony. High school graduation is a big deal, an even bigger deal to my parents. I didn't get to perform my last song in the band, I didn't even get to hear my fellow band mates play pomp and circumstance for me this time. I wanted that day to be unmistakable and distinct. So when I attended my graduation in my dad's bright red lifted Toyota Tundra with my neighbors and my family behind me in my mom's pearl white Toyota Sequoia, I couldn't help but feel like I was going to cry; because no matter how much of a hassle it would've been to find a parking spot or watch my friends graduate, it was that last walk that I craved so much. But who said that the graduating class of 2021 gets to have this special event? History found me. This turned into the old days. From this point on, since high school came to a close earlier than expected, I have found myself with little to no motivation for my college education, a fear for the unknown, and low self-esteem in regard to my future.

In past times, I was speaking to my high school teachers about how excited I was to go off to college. I would count down the days until I was able to move into my new home that was known as Boston. My family was upset that I was going far away but I was accepted into a well-known, top-notch school; the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. I know right? I had been speaking to three girls I was going to call my roommates in the fall, and we had even planned a trip to Connecticut so that we could meet up; it was one of the only states that was open during the pandemic. I remember the devastation I felt when corona ruined everything. I had about four tubs filled of college dorm accessories and I had an unlimited supply of snacks for the ride there on move in day. Goodbyes were forced too soon, traditions were missed, and graduation parties were cancelled. To be completely blunt, I wasn't concerned about walking across the stage, I was attending for my family and not really myself. So if someone asked me more than six months ago what my plans were for the future I would tell them with the biggest amount of confidence that I was going to graduate college early, attend one of the biggest medical schools, and become one of the world's best known pediatric surgeon. Well, turns out my mindset remains unclear. I ended up transferring to Penn State because Boston held one of the highest positive case numbers for coronavirus, and they screwed me over a full ride. The amount of motivation I had for college at the time went from over-achiever, to not caring one bit. But hey, I gave Penn State a shot. College education has always been important to me because I didn't want to be a failure and I craved to work with what I love the most, tiny humans. However, my motivation declined. Classes were starting up soon and all I could think about was how half of my classes were in person and how the other half was online. I wanted to meet new people in the same major and I wanted to be able to get together with professors and just talk about my plans for the future, because they always give the best type of advice. I wanted so much, I wanted to feel like I had a purpose and that I was going to obtain my bachelor's degree in premedical studies and then go off to medical school proud to be there. The decline in motivation caused so much stress and so much horror for what was yet to come, that I didn't believe in myself anymore.

The fear of the unknown, like standing in a dark room having no idea what's around you, that's what I was scared of. Graduating seemed easy; the ceremony, the parties, and the send-off. My distinction was that I was just going to graduate, have a positive amount of savings, and live it up wherever I was. Well, then I lost my job and practically all of my savings. Most of my money went to the gas in my car and a lot of it went to my textbooks for college. It was unknown what I was going to accomplish and do with the rest of my time that I had before college. With losing my job came filing unemployment every week just to be told three months afterwards that I was denied. I couldn't comprehend the amount of pressure I felt because I feared asking my parents for financial help considering the possibility that they might have been struggling too. It was mainly the "what if" questions. What if I didn't get into med school because I couldn't graduate college? Or what if I ended up unemployed for the rest of my life because everything was closed due to COVID. I feared every possibility, even the ones that didn't present with much logic. Oh, how high school was the highlight of my days. Seeing my friends, performing in the school's marching band, and just being able to take a break from reality. When that typical world crashed down, I feared that I wouldn't learn enough online to be smart enough to attend college, but it was my last year so there wasn't any doubt that I wouldn't pass. I didn't know what to expect graduating during a pandemic. I chose to work hard, pass my classes, and gave my time to help tutor younger students that might have struggled. The answer to the question, what's next, is unknown and terrifying. It's human to be cautious and feel fear after graduation, traveling down the wrong path could cause the entire world to stop moving. If I couldn't see the path forward, it would appear that I would be chasing after nothing. It was time for me to reflect on the choices I have made and even though my self-esteem was at an all-time low, I wanted to challenge myself to reach for the impossible.

Self-esteem is something every student needs to succeed. Simply to put in the sum of one's life, this special moment mattered to me even more so than everyone else disregarded. Graduations, much like parties, are the last hurrah to the realities of adulthood and the real world. Since I wasn't given my chance to gloss over my graduation because of a cruel graduation coronavirus casualty, the cancellation of in-person classes was not a vacation for me. It was valuable time lost forever in which my self-esteem was diminished. Amid the unprecedented pandemic, I began to feel like everything I love to do didn't matter anymore. I had a bright future filled with adapting a cure for Type One Diabetes, fixing up tiny humans, and becoming the world's best pediatric surgeon. However, towards the end of my senior year I needed to stay encourage for the rest of my years, but I couldn't. What was the point in looking towards a future where half of the population might be wiped out by coronavirus anyways? And what is the point in reaching for the impossible? So many thoughts gathered in my head making me question what my career was worth, if it was worth anything at all. I would hope that during my freshman year of college I regain my interests and build back up my self-esteem so that I can apply to millions of medical schools and become one of the world's best-known, world class, pediatric surgeons.

Since the ride is almost over, I feel like it's time to wrap this up. No graduate of the class of 2020 was given what they deserved, and the class of 2021 shouldn't be allowed to take advantage of what is yet to come. But the class of 2020 was stuck with the pandemic and although I don't feel like life is as important as it was to me years ago, there's still hope for the future. For intent purposes, I am just going to start over because there is a brave new world out there waiting for me to make the best of it. So, thank you to the teachers, the staff, and anyone else who helped me and the rest of the class of 2020 push through such a rough ride. Whether it's derived from little to no motivation for a college education, a fear for the unknown, and low self-esteem in regard to a future, these circumstances have to be overlooked. Even though others may not believe it, I believe that the class of 2020 as a generation has so much to offer to the world and that we will live beyond to do great things and I hope that the class of 2021 is allowed to experience something so encouraging that we as the class of 2020 lost.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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