Senior year in many ways came to an unexpected halt for the Class of 2020 a week before their final Spring Break due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There would be no prom as planned, no final group pictures or parties with friends. In light of this, we asked a student from Hoover High School and another from Spain Park High School to share their reflections addressed to their classmates as they wrapped up their high school careers from at-home quarantine.
Dear Hoover High Class of 2020,
This is not how our senior year was supposed to end. We were supposed to be celebrating our final days of high school, finishing our final sports season, starring on stage in a last performance, going to the prom, and performing in our final concert. We were supposed to be cherishing time with our friends before we go our separate ways, but that didn’t happen.
What did happen though was almost four years of precious memories. I know this time has been really hard for all of us, but we have persevered through the disappointments of missed opportunities. Every single one of us should be proud of how far we have come.
We made it through twelve years and three nine weeks of hard work. Learning the difficult lessons throughout high school was not easy. Some of us may be first-generation high school graduates. Some of us may be tenth-generation high school graduates. Either way, we have all worked tirelessly to reach this milestone, and our hard work has not gone unnoticed. Our teachers will forever remember our class as the class that knows the value of time. We are the generation that will bring change to this world and we have proven that even when the world is quiet, we can still achieve great things.
Moving forward, our class will never take time and relationships for granted like we did before. We will cherish moments with friends and family, and never turn down an opportunity to spend time with them. We will continue to stay connected no matter how far apart our paths take us, and we will be fully devoted to the time we have together. We will encourage future generations to take risks, go to the game, ask someone to the school dance, spend time with friends and have no regrets.
This pandemic may have taken our final days of high school, but it has given us a lesson that high school would never have taught us: the value of time. It can take people an entire lifetime to know the value of time, and some still don’t know it by then. Our class has been given a gift that we can try to share with future generations.
For now, we must remain hopeful for what’s to come as we enter the next stage of our lives. We will miss high school, but we can now use the strength and knowledge gained through this experience to help us with whatever our future holds. Class of 2020, may the world forever remember us as the class that knows value. God bless and go Bucs!
Senior Class Officer
Dear Spain Park High Class of 2020,
I thank each parent, family member, friend, and student for joining me to honor the Class of 2020. As I am sitting here today, my heart is filled with both grief and thanksgiving. Grief because we have experienced loss and hardship, but thanksgiving because I still have the opportunity to congratulate and celebrate your great accomplishments—an opportunity that I was not sure I would get.
For all of us, life looks pretty different right now. Although the slower pace of life creates new challenges for me, I cannot help but miss the routine of my normal schedule. Back in February, I went to my church’s regular Wednesday night service for our high school youth group. We were in the middle of a series about social media, and phones in general. This particular night was the last sermon in the series and we addressed the question, “In this time of becoming more and more of a technology-based world, how can we use social media for good? What does it look like to minister to people using technology?” Now when the message was over, I took my new knowledge and I went on with the rest of my week. But boy did I not know that God was planting a seed in my heart to help me face one of the greatest challenges our generation has ever seen.
If you know me, you know I love the analogy of planting seeds. When having conversations with people, I find myself always going back to it, explaining that each moment in our life represents a seed. While one seed may not be very fruitful, a bunch of seeds can produce an abundant harvest. Every moment we live, experience we have, and person we meet plants a seed in our heart and contributes to our overall life journey. In fact, this idea of planting seeds has been my mindset for most of high school. Even if the one seed I plant in someone’s life does not completely change their world, maybe my one seed starts the process of planting their beautiful farm.
So as COVID-19 began to impact our world, I went back to that Wednesday night question. How can we use technology to better our community in a troubling time like this? Parents, family and teachers, you should be blown away by the encouragement, rallying, motivation and positivity that your children have shown the world during one of the most unknown seasons of their life. And this does not only include using technology; students have also selflessly looked past their own loss in order to promote compassion in our world today. They have planted seeds.
Students, these qualities did not develop overnight. They have been present in each of you from the beginning and that is why we are celebrating you today. You have demonstrated the exact qualities we mentioned in your academics as well. For years you have poured your heart into achieving academic greatness at Spain Park that now opens significant opportunities for the future. And while I believe it is important to celebrate what you have accomplished thus far, I think it is more important to celebrate what you will accomplish in the future.
This season of life is all we have known, but it is the beginning chapter for the rest of our lives. As each of us moves our own direction to pursue different goals, our seeds will travel far and reach many people. Our class has been given the opportunity to set the pace for how our world will change from here on. We have experienced hardship and drought, yes. But if we continue our lives with our new perspective, we can take the one seed we have planted here and, together, grow a whole new beautiful farm. The commitment you have made to your academics, as well as your community, will carry you far.
Parents, family, and everyone who has supported us, thank you for giving us power, encouragement, and love to pass on to those we encounter in our lifetime. Today we celebrate you as well. You have some of the most industrious children in our world today. Your efforts have not only encouraged us to achieve greatness in school, but in every aspect of our lives.
To the Class of 2020, congratulations on beginning your journey of a lifetime with high standards and an intentional heart. The qualities you possess have inspired me and have planted a seed in my own heart to never give up on achieving greatness. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your journey. I am overjoyed to see how you continue planting seeds in all your future endeavors.