Dear Class of 2020,
You did it and you got this! Let me explain. You started with a list of colleges that you may have seen as a mountain at times, but you decided the heights, the climb, and you got to the top. You evoked thousands of smiles and pulled heartstrings with your moving and entertaining essays that were read by countless admissions counselors from every corner of this country and some even beyond. You waited for the final college decisions and they came. Through the cheers and tears and somewhere in between, you prevailed. You lit up your future like a “champagne supernova in the sky” when you made that final college decision… Yes, Class of 2020 — you did it!
And you did it during one of the most surreal, unpredictable times (since maybe ever?) to be a senior in high school… When you look back on this strange but historic time, choosing a college during Covid-19, you may have a perspective that no other college-bound grad has ever had. No graduation, no parties, the summer of all summers has been turned into something like the “Upside Down World” from Stranger Things. The college experience in the Fall is also unknown to many of you. Whether it be in person, a late start or online classes, just remember your acceptance is not going away and the bumps along the way will be worth the ride. You got this.
This is because there is a chorus of people – family, friends, teachers, educators, admissions counselors, and us at College Expert – giving you standing ovations (from a safe distance of course). Your class has inspired us during this truly stressful time. As I have been talking (more like Zooming) with so many of you during quarantine, your humility, hope, and humor have been so honest and heartfelt. You inspire me and I’ll say it again- “Yes, you did it and you got this, Class of 2020!”
You probably hear your elders (like me) throw around the phrase that you are “Generation Z”, so keep this in mind during this voyage to college during this pandemic. You grew up in a connected world and absorbed information long before you took your first steps. Now, as young adults, you are going off to college with the mystic ability to connect the dots between humans and technology like nobody’s business during the biggest crisis of our lifetime. (Except for my one Amish student… I should really check to see if they have seen the news…)
Yes, you may never have rented a movie at Blockbuster or listened to your favorite band on a tape cassette, but it’s also your generation that is going to save our planet and help get us through this crazy corona crisis… Generation Z was born for this! Please remember that as you complete the weirdest senior year in history. You are all in this together, 2020 graduates everywhere. As I reflect on my own life without such a universal tragedy in my high school years, I can’t imagine being in your shoes. I don’t know what my past senior-year self would have done, but I can bet I would not have been as brave and hopeful as your class. The insight of your class has shown some hope to us adults. You did it and you got this… Here is a random picture of me in high school. I think you can see what I mean regarding how unequipped for a pandemic I was!
Now back to all of you and your college futures. It is still as bright as ever before. I know it’s not going to be easy, but I am here for you. I am in touch with my former students in college, and this extends to each and every one of you as the news and journey unfolds. I am your college counselor for life and I have your back.
Please text, email (or if you want to go old school – call me!). Let me know how you’re doing if you have any questions or concerns because you mean so much to me. You’re attending the first year of college during a time that history books will reflect back on. Those books will write about your bravery, intuition, and leadership, and more importantly, your ability to adapt to this new world that makes very little sense for the rest of us. I truly mean it when I sing it from the rooftops one more time- ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬ “You Did It and You Got This!” ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
I will leave you with some quotes from some of my heroes now and when I was your age:
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” –Ferris Bueller
“You were only waiting for this moment to arise.” –Paul McCartney
“Dear Prudence, open up your eyes. Dear Prudence, see the sunny skies.” –John Lennon
May you stay forever young.” – Bob Dylan (but check out this super cheesy 80’s Rod Stewart version!)
Thanks again Class of 2020 for giving me the hope and energy needed during these challenging times. You have inspired me more than you could ever imagine.