fbpx

Dear Class of 2020,

In the weeks or months or maybe even years leading up to this spring, we each imagined what this moment, the culmination of so many moments before it, would look like. In some of our imaginings, Commencement was a champagne toast and graduation cap toss as we fell into the arms of our fellow graduates. In others, Commencement was the pride of our families watching us climb steps we thought would never end onto stages upon which we thought we would never stand. In yet others, Commencement was a promise fulfilled, a finish line crossed, a breath exhaled.

In all of these renderings, Commencement represented closure as we completed one chapter and proceeded on to the next. The rituals we expected to perform–prom and senior prank, midnight study breaks and morning-of exam cramming, graduation parties and job applications–were intended to help us turn the final pages of this chapter, to achieve this closure. But in the absence of these rituals, and in the presence of these new ways of being and doing, we find ourselves feeling like our books are missing the pages that were supposed to conclude the chapter we’ve been writing for the past two or four or six years. 

But the pages are not missing! Sure, this chapter contained quite a plot twist–one even the author was not expecting to write around. But this chapter ended exactly where it was meant to, and hopefully it gave us a newfound appreciation for that author. Because yes, we have all had moments over the past few months where everything has felt like an uphill battle. We have all had moments where giving up has felt like a much more reasonable option than literally anything else. But here we are. We worked hard to get to this point, harder than many of us ever have. Our accomplishments stand–we have done things we never dreamed of. We have suspended our expectations, with understandable difficulty, and have adapted, with understandable resistance, to the unique challenges posed by a global pandemic (like sudden school closures, widespread panic, a concerning dearth of toilet paper). We have practiced radical acceptance of the new paradigm being forced upon us (hellllllo, face masks in public and constant Zoom meetings!). We have necessarily found ways to connect with others and with ourselves (car parades and hour-long phone calls; solo car rides and hour-long walks). 

And we have done all of this, maybe not perfectly, maybe not gracefully, maybe not without nearing the very limits of our sanity, but we have done this, and we have done it while mourning the loss of routine, the loss of structure, the loss of the Commencement we expected.

And now, Class of 2020, the world grapples with its own unexpected Commencement, its own ending and beginning, and it looks to us. It looks to us because we found ways to persevere. We found ways to hold things that are sometimes at odds with each other–togetherness and aloneness, successes and setbacks, fear and faith. We found ways to maintain routines, we found ways to lift each other up, we found ways to motivate ourselves.

Class of 2020, this global Commencement may feel to many like a stack of blank pages, but who better than us to pick up the pen and begin to write this chapter?

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

More To Explore

Blog

Let Them Talk

“Log kya kahenge?”. Translation: What will people say? It is unfortunate what a common phrase this is in Hindi and the number of times I’ve heard it is probably equivalent to India’s entire population. Those three words have reverberated in my mind every time I’ve done something as quotidian as dressing myself in the morning or making conversation with peers. It was those three words that served as an explanation for why my neighbors would eye me disapprovingly if I ever wore a slightly low-cut top. I had been a member of Indian society long enough to know that the design of your shirt was directly correlated to your character. And God forbid I was seen speaking platonically to a boy at the mall. It was almost guaranteed that the next round of community gossip would include my parents’ presumed negligence and their role in raising such a salacious daughter. And, just to get really wild with it, if I was seen speaking platonically to a boy at the mall WEARING a slightly low-cut top? We might have to move. Yes, my tone is satirical. But that’s because the amount of weight that Indians place on the opinions of others when making decisions about their own lives is so ludicrous, it’s almost comical.

Copyright © Minding Your Mind   |   Privacy Policy   |   Site By Radar Media