Dear Seniors: Thank You for Your Courage

Angelina Astic, Copy Editor

Oftentimes, I feel we learn the most about ourselves in the most trying times of our lives. Heartbreak, loss, pain and a multitude of other events can render many of us inconsolable. However, it is the inconsolability that I find can lead to rebirth, renewal and newfound appreciation for life. 

From those who have lived lives filled with unfathomable tragedy to those who have not experienced many earth-shattering events at a young age, the COVID-19 pandemic changed everyone’s perspectives on pain and loss. Our seniors, the class of 2021, have lost many time-honored traditions, experiences and time with one another. Despite all of that, through the good, the bad and the terrible, they have shown the power of their unwavering courage and optimism, something I and so many forever remain inspired by. 

In the face of adversity, we all have two options. We can either run in fear of what could happen, wrapping ourselves in figurative bubble wrap, creating a cocoon of safety from the world and possibly ourselves. Or, we can choose boldness, placing faith over fear and fly. This choice, for many, comes accompanied by great difficulty and sacrifice. Neither option can be described as perfect, neither provides a wonderfully wrapped solution and neither takes a person on a predictable path. In the face of adversity, feeling as though the world remained against them, the class of 2021 chose to fly. 

Throughout the pandemic, with one disappointment after another, the seniors could easily have chosen to kick their feet up and feel sorry for the circumstances that the world had presented to them. That simply is not in their nature. When life takes a sharp turn, they embrace the difficulties. Unable to see each other in person for the majority of the past year they have refused to allow themselves to become disconnected. If anything, the pandemic has brought them closer than ever before. 

Each class has a high school experience that unites them. For the class of 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic does not define them their courage does. Their courage to continue to pursue greatness, become extraordinary people and thrive in however precarious a time the past year has felt. No matter how dim and dismal the past year has felt for many, the seniors found a way to save themselves and wrote an ending filled with joy and promise fueled by the principle of perseverance. 

From the start of my freshman year, the seniors I encountered inspired me everyday. Empowered, determined and astonishing leaders, the seniors of my high school experience have not only motivated me to do and become better, but they have played a role in shaping me into the person I am. With the passing of every school year, I grow increasingly awestruck at how much we change as people, and how the relationships we build with others evolve and grow with us. With that, the class of 2021 has shown me just how much an experience can change one’s perspective of the world, as well as the way one regards oneself and others.