We Don’t Know
April 6, 2020
To the Class of 2020: we don’t know. We don’t know when this virus will end. We don’t know when we’ll be able to go out on a Saturday night again, when we’ll be able to drive endlessly through town, when we’ll be able to seamlessly go out with our friends at random, when we’ll be able to hug, when we’ll be able to see one another. We don’t know how, where, and who this virus may strike. We don’t know if our lives will ever bet the same.
Our lives, however, have never been the same. Our class has fought, continued, and remained consistent throughout several changes in our lives that we may have never even noticed. These changes took tolls on our mental health, physical health, and view on the world. As sophomores, we witnessed kids our own age be gunned down in a Florida high school right on Snapchat. As Freshman, our country watched as the most divisive election in modern U.S. history took place — tearing friends and families apart in its wake. In middle school, we became accustomed to the word “lockdown” and “school shooter.” In fourth grade, our parents had to tell us (as we watched the news in shock) that 20 first-graders had been killed in an elementary school in Connecticut. As Kindergartners, our parents struggled to make ends meet and balance the checkbook as the Great Recession became a reality.
We came into this world as the first generation following 9/11. A nation in horror as we were just beginning. We took our first steps when our country was at war, we had our first haircut when our country was at war, we spoke our first word, met our first friend, started our education when our country was at war.
Our country has been at war our entire lives. We oftentimes think this as us fighting terrorism, but we have entered a new front: the coronavirus. It’s the first battle we have seen in our own backyards.
To the Class of 2020: we know. We know we have a support system of doctors, nurses, EMTs, parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles that will do everything in their power to ensure we have the senior year we dream of. We know we have each other: our friends, classmates, teammates. We know we will see each other again. We know we will go out on a Saturday night again, hug again, drive endlessly through town again. We know we will live again. We know we will get through this.
We’ve already been through so much. Having lived through one of the most consequential periods in modern history there is one thing that we are certain we know: no is not an answer.