To: The Class of 2020, From: Your Friends and Family
Mar 30, 2020 | By: Kristin Clardy Photography
We know that the remainder of your senior year looks completely different than you had imagined.
Over the past week we asked those in the community to share their thoughts and encouraging words hoping that as you read this you will see and feel that you are loved, you are supported, and we are still here to celebrate your accomplishments no matter what life throws our way!
Dear Class of 2020,
"Seniors, As a high school teacher and a member of our community, I want to provide a little encouragement during these trying times. As schools are closed for a large part of your Senior year, I know you are feeling disappointment. You are missing a time that you have looked forward to for 13 years. I want to assure you that, as your teachers, we are disappointed for you. However, I know a few things about you that gives me confidence that you will overcome these feelings and challenges. First, we as teachers are confident in your learning and our teaching through all these years. You have a great deal of knowledge. This is a time of new maturity for you, coming a little early, but still present. This is an opportunity for you to take early leadership in your community. Demonstrate influence and initiative in these first steps into adulthood by supporting your peers who may be struggling emotionally or academically. Check on your neighbors. Help solve problems for others. You are able and have been given the tools you need. Second, we are proud of you and have faith in you. You will never know the pride we feel when we watch you walk across the stage at graduation. It is a job well done; on your parts and ours. After 26 years of teaching, I still tear up every year when I hear “Pomp and Circumstance,” when we say the Pledge of Allegiance with you for the last time, and when your parents cheer when your name is called. We have faith that you will take all you have learned out into the world and make changes for the good, solve problems, and contribute to humankind and the Earth. If the current circumstances delay graduation ceremonies, know that it will come. You have looked forward to hearing your names called for thirteen years. We know your names and will not forget them. Third, you have Grit. You have made it this far. Dig down deeper if you need to and find that strength and persistence that will take you through this to the other side of these remarkable and confusing times. Shape this new normal into something you can remember and be proud of. Last, you have a Heavenly Father who is all-knowing and all-powerful. He is not surprised by current events. He is not surprised by your feelings and disappointments. He is not gone. He is here and now and will bring his children through according to his foreknowledge, grace, and will. Remember John 16:33 during times such as these, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Use this time to embrace your family. Make sincere expressions of love and affection that may have seemed embarrassing in normal times, but now have become crucial. Maintain your connections with your friends and peers, digitally if necessary. Look around and see who you can help. Most of all, Love One Another. Lynn Thrift Walhalla High School"
"While this is not what you were expecting when you went into your senior year... it’s something completely different. Your senior year is a part of history. You’re gonna look back at this and when your future children and grandchildren ask about your senior year you can tell them stories that only the 2020 class will be able to. This is a unique situation and it’s up to yourselves to make the best of it! Sending prayers and love, you can do this!!"
"Wow, it’s been a pretty wild ride. You work for 12 years to go to prom, play your last game, and to be able to say you walked across that stage with a diploma in your hand. And just like that...the world was flipped upside down. I cannot imagine the devastation you and your families must be facing. I am so sorry that this is how things have played out after all of your commitment and work. But know this, we are proud. As a junior this year you have given me something to look up to and strive to be. Your parents are proud, your friends are proud, and even your back woods preacher is proud. We are astonished in what the class of 2020 has done through the years. Most of you were born At a time where the America was upside down by what was burdened to us on September 11, 2001. Everyone was devastated. But you were the generation to push through that and become the amazing people that you are today. You picked society up and ran with it. Now we find ourselves in a world wide devastation once again. And it just so happen to be the year that you graduate. Can you rise up from the ashes again? Of course you can. Because the class of 2020 fights, Picks society back up, and runs with it."
"My heart goes out to all of the high school seniors, most especially my own child. For 12+ years you have been working and doing all required to get to this point. And now you are being robbed of this achievement. It just sucks, anyone that tells you different is lying. But you will get through this. And you will all thrive as adults because of the strength it is going to take to not get mentally down about this. We, as parents, grieve with you. But we know you have this. And I hope this is further catalyst for your generation to be the needed change! We love you all!"
"Dear Seniors, As a parent and having been a senior once, I am aware of the pride and joy you feel to complete high school,a very important milestone in your lives.And rightfully so to want to pause and celebrate such an accomplishment, graduation. Your families also share that same dream with you. They have all been invested in reaching this important goal. Congratulations. Keep going … the end line is just ahead. Perhaps the end line is looking a little different that you expected, but remember, your families, your friends and your community are cheering you all the way to the end. We will celebrate with you.One way or another. As you reached your teen years, you have become increasingly aware these past years that life can be rocky and sometimes unpredictable.That basically describes life as we know it… but remember there is THE ROCK (Deuteronomy 32: 3 and 4 , Isaiah 26:4)our creator that keeps us grounded and keeps us firm, while we sometimes navigate in life through trials and tribulations.(James 1:13 one James 1: 2-3) I cannot promise you there will not be at times disappointment, but I myself am promised by my creator that he will be with me every step of the way to help me with his right hand of righteousness.(Isaiah 41:10 and 41:13). So in these times of trouble, do not be dishearten,and do not lean on your own understanding, but trust that God Almighty can lead you now and throughout your life.( Proverbs 3:5, Psalms 46,Psalms 62:8, Isaiah 12 2 -6,Psalms 91 2-16, Isaiah 26;4, Mathew 6:33..
Rejoice in the hope.Endure under tribulation.Persevere in prayer.(Romans 12:12) Good health to you. Beatriz Gil-Stewart."
"Just think class of 2020. God knows what is in your future. Don’t be upset about the present when we know there is an almighty God preparing an amazing life for us."
"The world is so crazy right now and what’s happening to seniors is devastating. Life really is unpredictable but isn’t that what makes it so beautiful? My heart goes out to every senior who is worried whether or not they’ll get to walk across that stage, but always know that you’re always being supported. This didn’t shock God and His throne is not shaken. Let’s focus on the good from high school and be comforted."
"No matter how hard this gets just know everything is in Jesus hands!"
"Proverbs 3:5 and Jeremiah 29:11 God has a reason for everything"
"“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Philippians 4:6 I can’t imagine what you seniors may be feeling but I do know that God has a plan for you! Stay strong and keep your head up!"
"Class of 2020, This probably wasn’t your ideal senior year. However, God has a plan for everyone. He has got this all in his hands. All we can do is pray and put our faith in him. I have you all in my thoughts and prayers!"
"I know this is a sad and disappointing time for you and all seniors! You have worked so hard to get to this time in your life. I know your family and friends are proud of you and will be celebrating with you in their hearts even if they cannot be with you. It is my prayer that the school systems will be able to give you the Prom and Graduation you deserve at a later date when it will be safe for all your family to be with you and share in your joy! Congratulations! Many Blessings! Helen Roach "
"Proverbs 3:5 . I love this verse, trust in our Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. These times of uncertainty and not knowing are scary, but God will never leave us or forsake us. He will be glorified in the end and it’s all apart of his plan!"
"These are not ideal circumstances but If I know one thing is that if God brings you to it he will bring us through it stay strong ladies ! You are loved class of 2020"
"Keep your head up! This too shall pass! Congratulations, class of 2020!!"
"This isn’t the ideal learning experience, but i hope the class of 2020 uses this experience to grow & learn to find joy in middle of this mess!! we love the class of 2020!!!"
"Just because you can’t feel or see God in this situation doesn’t mean he doesn’t have his hand on it. trust in him and it will all work itself out!! you’ve got this!"
"Chlo! (Chloe Stephens)! You have the sweetest soul!! Remember in this time you are soo loved and I can’t wait to see all the great things your future holds ."
"Nahum 1:7 The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he know that them that trust in him. Trust in God and he will give you strength. We are praying for each and every one of you. Chloe Belle we love you so much!!"
"Seniors, you are not being over looked right now. You are soo loved. Continue to have serving hearts and be kind!!"
"Chloe Turner we are so proud of this great milestone you have achieved! From the first day of preschool to the end of your Senior year! You are beautiful inside and out! We love you Bookie and pray for your continued success.”Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”(Joshua 1:9) Daddy and Mama"
"Your senior year might suck right now but imagine when you grow up and can tell the story about what’s happened now. Y’all will be in the history books! I can’t wait to see where y’all go in life. Just remember God is always there and he will guide a way for you!"
"Dear my sweet Celeena, I love you so much! You are definitely a light in my life and in many others! I’m praying for protection over you and your family in this time. Thank you for showing visible love to those around you ! We will get through this together Psalm 34:10"
"This is a good time to slow down and really understand how family is so important! School can get in the way of relationships, emotions, and worries that really just don’t matter. Take this time to slow down and relax and enjoy the slow days. And be thankful for your health and who your surrounded by!"