A Letter of Hope to the Class of 2020

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girl from the class of 2020 wearing graduation outfit

Dear Class of 2020,

My heart breaks for you. I am praying for you. No, I don’t understand what you’re going through, but I want you to know that you have support and love. Missing out on these once-in-a-lifetime experiences cannot be easy. I admire the strength and resilience you’re showing the world right now.

Related: 10 Incredible Acts of Kindness Happening Around the World Right Now

You’re Not Alone

My little sister, Sydney, was a senior in high school this year. It was turning out to be an incredible year for her. She was achieving greatness on the dance team, serving as a member of the student council, and already had her gorgeous dress for prom. It was a heartbreaking moment when we learned that the school year was cut short due to COVID-19.

Sure, she’ll still get a diploma as we drive through the carpool lane of her high school at the end of this month, but it’s not the same. She won’t get to hear the cheers of her family and friends in the audience as she walks across a stage. The feeling of boredom as she sits through endless speeches in an auditorium won’t be memories for her like they are for me.

So, class of 2020, I’m here to offer some hope. I’ll share my words of wisdom, but I don’t want you to just hear from me. I interviewed my sister and some of her friends who are also seniors this year. We all want to give you some encouragement and hope it brightens your day at least a little bit.

A Senior Like You

person in graduating cap and gown looking at a view

My sister wants you to know that it’s completely okay to feel down right now. Allow yourself to grieve for what has been lost because of COVID-19. Feeling sad is a normal reaction to this situation and you shouldn’t bottle that up.

The important thing to do right now, according to my sister, is to “make the most of what it is.” Find joy in the little things. Have gratitude and optimism. It can be hard, but it will make all the difference.

Notice what your school is doing to try and make life a little better right now. Be thankful for their effort and sacrifices. Perhaps spend some time turning outwards and writing some teachers a letter of gratitude? They’re going through a lot right now, too. Serving others tends to make our lives brighter.

Lastly, my sister said to have humor during this crazy time. There is nothing we can do about the situation, so we might as well laugh at it! Remember that this experience will make for some great stories later in life. You’re a unique generation!

Words of Wisdom

After talking with my sister, I did a little interview with my husband. He is wiser than I am, so I knew he would have some good advice for you.

He said to simply press forward without looking back. It can be easy to dwell on the negative. However, don’t allow yourself to drown in self-pity. You have an incredible life ahead of you!

Plan for the future. Prepare for college, a mission, or whatever else you have in store. High school is important and amazing, but it is small compared to the rest of life. Look ahead with positivity and increased resilience.

How to Stay Positive

girl graduate wearing cap and gown smiling

I spoke briefly with another 2020 graduate and she had similar thoughts. You all truly worked hard to get to this point. It’s difficult to lose your celebrations. She said that focusing on positive things and looking ahead has made all the difference for her.

I asked her how she stays positive and what advice she might have for you. She said to stay in touch with your friends! Keeping in contact with them can bring back those high school memories.

Spend time outside, learn new things, and make plans for the future. One day, this will all be over. I know that you can emerge from quarantine a stronger person.

Love From the Prophet

The prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, has said that this time is bringing “unprecedented challenges.” In a recent video, he stated, “I have marveled at the countless examples of faith, courage, and Christlike love that I have seen.” He is talking about you!

Though much is unknown, President Nelson also said, “We rejoice in the peace that radiates from the Lord Jesus Christ. It will continue to fill us with hope and joy. Our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son love us, are aware of us, and will bless each of us.”

Isn’t it so comforting to know that God is aware of your situation? He is watching over you, class of 2020. He knows that you can make it through this difficult time. Lean on Him.

Final Advice

girl wearing cap and gown smiling

In my opinion, turning to Heavenly Father is most crucial right now. Only He knows exactly what you need. Listening to His Spirit will give you guidance and direction more than any of us!

You were chosen to come to Earth at this time. Heavenly Father has not left you alone and He knew that you could do this. 1 Nephi 20:10 says, “For, behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.”

These trials will refine you. They will make you stronger. I believe in you. Have faith and optimism! Once again, you are in my prayers. I wish you the best of luck in all of your endeavors!

Related: Grieving for What Was Lost Because of COVID-19

Please, share this article with any other seniors that are part of the class of 2020. I would love to hear their thoughts, too!

Brooklyn Gittins is an enthusiastic member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She has written for food and lifestyle blogs but is currently sharpening her skills as a writing intern for Third Hour. She enjoys spending time with her husband, petting dogs, and eating buttered noodles.