An Open Letter to the Class of 2020

Our senior year has ended unexpectedly due to COVID-19. Although this news has been hard on all of us, it is important to remember that we are not alone

April 15, 2020

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Photo Courtesy of Jen Theodore on Unsplash

This year, high school seniors are missing out on important milestones as the world around us shuts down in an effort to contain COVID-19.

Dear Class of 2020, 

 

On Friday, March 13, we all unknowingly went through our last day of high school. I remember talking with my friends during passing period, jokingly saying goodbye to each other “in case school got cancelled.” We laughed it off and went to class, only to find out a week later that this was the reality. We didn’t realize that that was the last time we’d be walking through Beckman’s hallways as a student, that we’d never be able to stress over our upcoming exam at break or desperately try to maneuver around Beckman’s congested hallways again. To us, it was just another ordinary day, a day that we would get to live again in a little while.

 

But, no. It was the last time we’d be high schoolers. It was the last of many lasts we’d experience throughout high school, but this time, we didn’t know that this was the end. We were expecting that there would be at least be one more day for us to say our final goodbyes. But, as COVID-19 has become more serious in the past few weeks, Tustin Unified School District (TUSD) announced that all TUSD schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year. So, rather than having a chance to end our senior year with the pomp and circumstance we’ve anticipated for all these years, we’re spending this time at home for an indefinite period of time. As the novel coronavirus continues to spread, it is highly likely that we won’t get a chance to resume our normal lives and have a proper goodbye for a while. For some of us, this news is especially devastating. 

 

“Everything has come to a stop and it’s in question whether or not I’ll be able to say bye to my friends. I was looking forward to prom, graduation, and other activities that [would] celebrate the class of 2020. It’s really disheartening to see everything getting cancelled. But at the end [of the day], it’s best for us to remain healthy and stay strong during these unprecedented times,” states Samiksha Komatireddy. We’ve worked so hard for all these years in anticipation of having a chance to celebrate as a “second semester senior.” The end of the year was supposed to be filled with countless memorable activities from our final high school dance to graduation, but now, everything planned is on the brink of cancellation. It was meant to be the time where we looked back at these past four years and held on tight to our friends for the last time before we all parted ways for college and beyond. 

 

But now, while COVID-19 continues to spread and claim the lives of more than 127,000 people, the possibility of having a traditional end to our senior year seems like a distant possibility. While our school administration is actively working to give us some sense of closure to our time here at Beckman, they will obviously not be the same. So to the class of 2020, our senior year has taken a wild turn since March 13. All of our plans had fallen apart, and our goodbyes to our teachers and friends were unexpectedly final. Nonetheless, our graduating class is not forgotten. From the generation of children who came while the nation was healing from 9/11 to the high school seniors graduating in the midst of a global pandemic, we have quite possibly lived through the strangest and most tumultuous of times. 

 

So here’s to the most unconventional end to our high school experience. I wish you all the best and hope to see you all again in the near future.

 

Sincerely,

Cynthia Le

Class of 2020

 

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