A letter to the class of 2020


Gwyn Skiles, co-editor-in-chief

Dear fellow seniors,


This sucks. 

While scrolling through our parent’s Facebook and Instagram posts littered with messages directed to the Class of 2020, the phrase “we’re all in this together” is only briefly comforting. After the few seconds where we get lost in the glamour of a virtual community and the cheerful “Hallmark” phrases, we are left with our own, less “Hallmark-y” aphorisms: “it’s not fair” and “why did this have to happen to me” thoughts. 

While most columns, letters, and Google Classroom posts addressed to seniors are littered with optimistic messages of hope, mine will acknowledge that as our first month in quarantine ends, it’s getting harder and harder to see the end of quarantine. And while I don’t intend to endorse a “who has it worse” battle, my letter won’t sugarcoat the heartache life has thrown specifically at us.

It sucks.

There is no way anyone could have predicted this, but I can’t help but think back to that Friday before school closed and wish I had expressed gratitude for my teachers and relished every moment surrounded by the energy of my peers. When I reminisce on my senior year, I regret isolating myself in the stress of college applications, awaiting the adventures and celebrations of “second-semester” that might never come now. I am so angry that I most likely won’t get a prom because let’s face it, prom wasn’t about wearing a fancy dress and having a hot date, it was about spending one last night all together. But now, our final moments of high school are spent confined in our homes and shared over FaceTime calls.

 The “Class of 2020” has a new meaning, and we’re all struggling with it. Instead of just teenagers destined to graduate after an extremely satisfying year, we’re the class caught in the turmoil of history. The class that won’t get to celebrate how hard they’ve worked with their teachers and peers by throwing their graduation caps in the air.

It sucks.

I’m in the process of mourning what I didn’t know I cared so much about. Since freshman year, my anticipation for second semester senior year was familiar to me and I could count on this celebratory future when stressed or hopeless. Now that anticipated and much needed closure and celebration is gone, and in its place is a fear that what has taken so much away from us will be summed up in a few pages of a history book that bored kids, much like we used to be, will quickly skim through. 

Seniors around the country are in the process of mourning. Whether it be your last home game, your last moment center stage, your last lap in PE class or your last heated discussion in history, we’re all missing out on something and mourning it. However, instead of receiving the space we need to overcome this tragedy, we’re pressured to fill our time with activity and to feel guilty about our self-pity.

It sucks! We need to allow ourselves to grieve. We don’t have to “pick ourselves up” just yet. We can sit and we can properly mourn our senior year. We cannot push our emotions away and put on a fake cheery face while calling ourselves “strong”. We need to accept our sadness, disappointment and anger for what it is. That’s the only way we can properly grieve and get to a place where we will be able to genuinely smile and resume our future. 

We’re all handling this crisis differently. So stop pressuring each other to remain positive and optimistic. We all have our own ways of mourning what was supposed to be “our year”. Even though it’s been awhile since we haven’t needed a 6 foot “safety zone” between us, let’s give each other more space to grieve in the way we each need to. Only then will we be able to take “our year” back.


A currently gloomy member of the Class of 2020,

Gwyn Skiles