(This essay is by Chris Mohn, one of the founders and content creators for Papersalt.)
I have an amazing 18-year-old daughter named Olivia; she is a senior in high school.
We are currently toiling through the Covid-19 pandemic in early May 2020. My heart breaks for Olivia along with all of her friends who are seniors. The loss they are experiencing is so visceral, so personal and traumatic. I close my eyes and try to erase the memories of my graduation, my Prom, the senior prank or skip day. I can’t even imagine not having these memories. I feel nauseous for them like taking a punch to the gut – I try to imagine how they feel? This list of losses is long and painful, especially after doing 4 years of outstanding work, checking all the required boxes.
I’m very proud of my daughter and all seniors, they have done everything right, played the game well and they are getting fleeced. While my gut and heart are saddened for their losses my head feels differently. What if this event becomes the defining gift of this generation? What if the disappointment and frustration create a grizzled group of young adults, a freshman class of take-no-crap students who are unflappable? These kids are READY, perhaps more ready than any senior class before them to move on to what’s next, to leave home, to go to college, whatever.
Yes, you’ve been robbed, you have been knocked down and yet I don’t see you staying down – not considering it an option, good on you. This has been hard, you've been gritty, it will pass.
Class of 2020 you are loved beyond measure and your future is bright!