Dear Incoming Seniors
Here we are again: the end of summer. The last week before school. We download syllabi and prep our lecture notes with ease. We are veterans, about to face down the beast that is our education for the very last time. This is the final boss, our arch-nemesis, the last thing standing between us and a lifetime of faux freedom beneath the overcast sky of our student loan debt. We’ve trained for this for years. We are ready.
Except we aren’t.
This wasn’t supposed to happen. Senior year. Our last hurrah before we face the “real” world was supposed to be a bittersweet blend of fun and scary. Instead, it’s just scary. The job hunt, which was intimidating enough before, is now saturated with an even thicker fog of uncertainty as employers struggle to stay afloat. The things we looked forward to about school like friends, events, and favorite professors, are severed from us by screens, or at least six feet of air. Most of us can’t even complain about the food at the dining hall, robbed of our chance to taste it one last time.
It isn’t fair. We didn’t ask for this. We are powerless to change it.
No one blames us for being disappointed. In fact, plenty of people probably feel sorry for us.
What if we showed them that they have no reason to be?
It’s true that we can’t do a thing to change our circumstances, but we do have complete control over one thing: ourselves. What if, instead of wishing we didn’t have to face this challenge, we rose to meet it? What if we stood our ground with equal force to that of the tidal wave hurtling toward us?
There’s no way around it. One way or another this year is going to suck. We’re going to have so many things to adjust to. Zoom is going to fail us countless times. Senioritis will come knocking only a few weeks in. This won’t be the worst, or the last, crisis we’ll face. We’ll make plans and many of them will inevitably fail. That’s just the way life works.
Whether you believe in God’s plan or fate or destiny or none of those things, there is one thing you can know for certain: doing nothing, especially in the midst of a challenge like this one, gets you nowhere. Do something. Change something about yourself: your attitude, your routine, maybe even your haircut if that’s what you need to give yourself a boost. Go after the things you want most. Change your plan as the battle does. Don’t let your fear and uncertainty get in your way. Plan to be standing when spring rolls around, even if you won’t get to stand at commencement.
That will be okay too. You weren’t going to listen to the speeches anyway.