Open Message to the Class of 2020
January 13, 2020
Hey class of 2020 – guess what? It’s 2020.
Scary, right? Here we are, in the year that’s been plastered on posters and shirts since we were in elementary school. “Class of 2020,” they read. We didn’t entirely understand what it meant, but at a young age, 2020 became a time we would count down to for years to come.
But, now that we’re here, what does it mean? Grad party invites, graduation outfits; finding roommates, planning dorm decorations; last dances, last seasons; last musicals, last performances. Exciting, but sad, right? Bittersweet maybe. Whatever word you’d use to describe it, the grades before us weren’t kidding when they described senior year as the “year of lasts.”
Now it’s here; our last semester. Most of us have only a few short months left until we’re on our own in college, the military, or the workforce. Soon, we’ll discover the world of “adulting,” and the ups and downs that come with it. The time we’ve all been dreading has fallen upon us: the time to grow up.
However, let’s change the mindset around “growing up.” If there’s one thing I cannot stress enough, it’s this: growing up does not mean giving up. Crazy, right? Yes, growing up does require the release of many immature or unhealthy habits and mindsets; but, it does not mean the release of the ability to have fun, learn, and make memories. In this period of “growing up,” we learn many things.
We learn responsibility; how to be on our own. Growing up means learning how to do things for ourselves. For many of us, our lives up until this point have been fairly dependent on the people around us (their parents, siblings, friends, etc.). Leaving high school and beginning a new chapter means that these people, most likely, won’t be a part of our daily lives anymore. We get the opportunity to make our own decisions and handle our own problems on our own, like adults.
However, we also learn that although we may not have our “normal” people, we are not alone. Part of growing up is meeting new people. Whether it’s friends, coworkers, professors, whoever, new interactions are an inevitable part of getting older. Sometimes we seek them out, sometimes they fall into our lives unexpectedly. Letting them in and allowing these bonds to form is something that is essential to our growth and happiness as we get older. Connections with other people help us throughout multiple parts of our life.
Finally, growing up teaches us that we can still have fun. Sure, we may learn the hard way to stay in and study before a test instead of going out with friends. Or we may have to go through a heartbreak to understand why that relationship wasn’t the one we needed. But, we learn how to balance life and how to leave the people that aren’t good for us. We learn how to have fun the healthy way – in a way that won’t hurt us or others in the long run. Don’t worry – there are plenty of crazy nights, funny stories, and awesome memories ahead. Growing up isn’t the end of these things – it’s a beginning for new ones.
So, I leave you with this. Yes, our lives are changing. Yes, it’s scary. But, there are so many adventures just waiting to happen. Embrace this time of “growing up” and everything that comes with it. How our future goes is in our hands.
Hey, class of 2020. It’s 2020. How will you embrace it?