When we first heard about the Coronavirus, most of us took it as a joke. It was not our problem, and it was not expected to be one. Yet now, as graduating seniors, we find it directly affecting us.
As a fellow student and Class President, I know that while we sit at home there is an understandable and underlying frustration and concern for the nature of our senior year, and it is reasonable to expect as much.
But while we are bombarded by this chaos, I remain hopeful and I wish for others to remain this way as well. For the past week we have been living life with much stripped away, and that’s okay. In fact, if anything, it has served to be beneficial for me personally. This forced sabbath has given me time to finally do things that a life running at 100 mph everyday hasn’t allowed me to. It has allowed me to sit and reflect; to spend time with God in the Bible and in prayer. It has allowed me to pursue creative endeavors that I would have normally put on the shelf due to time constraints, but ultimately, it has reminded me of what is important in life; things such as family and helping others. It reminds me that we truly do only have today. The present is all we have to work with, and if anything right now, we have been dealt some of the biggest opportunities of our lifetime, whether that be to find ways to help others during this, to finally enjoy a moment without pressure, or even an opportunity to pursue that idea that’s been floating around your head for months.
We, the class of 2020, are a body of students who set themselves apart in regard of excellence and respect. In fact, our class harbors exceptional athletes, brilliant minds, and talented creatives alike. I don’t blink twice when I say that we are people of massive potential, and I know that we are all ready to take on the world. The only thing that may be holding us back, though, is discouragement or fear of what is unknown.
So remember to keep your eyes on today. When you lift them to the future in fear or concern you run the risk of sabotaging yourself and your progress -- because fear has a tendency to work like blinders. It keeps you focused on only despair, but never hope.
Personally during this time, for hope, I look to God and I know that his plans are far higher than mine and his ways are far bigger than ours, so I trust in his timing. I also look back to the many memories we have created as a class, in just four years. Our class has had such a good run and we can rest assured of that. We can rest assured of the impact we have left thus far.
So while we may not know what a month from now will look like, and we don’t know what tomorrow will bring, we can remember that we still do have today - we have the present, and much like our impromptu Fridays in Mrs. Burke’s room, we can’t simply opt out of what we draw. In life we don’t get a free shuffle or an extra pick. It is our responsibility to take these cards we’ve been dealt and choose to make them into so much more.
There is a whole world out there, busting at the seams with accomplishments far greater than anything senior year could even hold, and nothing, not even COVID-19, can stop what the momentum our class has been bringing for years. So don’t lose hope, Class of 2020, we shall still remain the best class this town of Tunkhannock has ever seen.
(Clark is president of the Tunkhannock Area High School Class of 2020.)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Are you a teen and would like to share your views while we are all coping with the coronavirus epidemic? Submissions are welcome while the schools are out of session. Please send around 400 words to firstname.lastname@example.org with TEEN VIEWPOINT in the tagline.