Class of 2021: You’ve Got This

I did the math. Sometimes, that’s not a great idea.

Forty-two years. Next month will be 42 years since I graduated from high school. I will give you a minute to realize that makes me old. (I’m okay with that.)

Why do I mention this?

As you finish up your high school experience—your incredibly challenging, totally unexpected, Zoom-infused high school experience—I want you to try to find the good parts to hold onto and take with you, no matter where you go next year.

Forty-two years after high school, I still have some great memories. I have friends whom I’ve stayed in touch with since graduation, and the internet has helped me reconnect with friends many years later. Not all the high school memories are great though—high school has its difficult moments, academically and socially, for most of us.

But you are survivors! You are the intrepid souls who spent most of 11th and 12th grades in online classrooms, socially distanced … but you still debated, explored, learned, and achieved. You are ready for the next step!

So, congratulations, class of 2021! Enjoy the summer as much as you can! Spend time with family. See your friends (safely, with masks if still required). Do the touristy things in and near your hometown. Or travel a bit. Give your mind and body time and space to recover and recuperate from the intensity of high school and the pandemic.

Then, no matter your plans for the fall, jump right in. Talk to people (even if it’s hard for you). Go to meetings for clubs. Try a new sport. If you’re taking a gap year, wring out all the adventure you can. If you’re working for a year, take the time to know your co-workers. Heading to the military? Be safe; train well. Life is long and full of experiences—trust me … remember that math from the beginning?!

On behalf of all the CTCL communities, I wish you well and I wish you joy.