Haley Horning: An Open letter to the Class of 2020

Heartfelt message from a fellow senior


Haley Horning (Class of 2020), Staff Writer

Dear Class of 2020,

I assume that the last few months have left you with many different emotions- doubt, anger, or maybe fear, but above all of these, I have felt lost. Completely, unbelievably lost. Just when we thought everything was falling into place, it was all ripped from our grasp within a couple of days. I felt a longing to be with my classmates, teachers, and in the outside world.

But most of all, I am at a loss for words. Each time I sat down to write this article, the few fragments I was able to piece together couldn’t even begin to describe my feelings towards this situation and towards the loss of my senior year.

Writing this article has been so difficult for me, because it means that it is actually over. I have to swallow the pill that my senior year is gone and I wasn’t even given the chance to say goodbye. But just like all sadness,  you have to move through the stages of grief, and I guess that now it’s time for the fifth stage, acceptance. So… I have to take a deep breath in, and here we go.

We’ve been together for four years now. I remember meeting all of you on freshman orientation and being so excited to be with all of you for the rest of high school. Who would have guessed that we would be here? Most people say that when they walk across the stage on graduation, but I am writing this while sitting on my couch. Who would have guessed that we would be here? None of us saw it coming. No one believed that this virus could actually close our school. But here we are.

My heart breaks for all of us. I know that you wish things could be different, and I am right there with you. If I could count the amount of tears cried in the past few weeks, they would be innumerable. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for all of the things that you are missing out on. I’m sorry that the best three months of your senior year have been taken from you.

I’m sorry. And I know that sorry isn’t enough. Sorry won’t give us back the memories we could have made. Sorry won’t let me walk the halls of my high school again. Sorry won’t give me five more minutes in the building I spent the past four years in… but sorry is all that I have.

Sure, we missed out on some important life events, but don’t forget about the small memories we made everyday- walking through the hallways with our friends, singing along in our cars in the parking lot, after school practices, or assemblies. These are the moments that will stick with us. These are the moments that made us who we are today. Take in these little things. I hope that if you learned anything from this whole thing, you learn to cherish life. You learn to take every single moment you are given and live it to the fullest.

In a weird way we are blessed. We were given the chance to feel what it is like to have everything taken away from you. We are young. We can change the way that we were living. We can make a change. We can choose to live fully.

So, my beautiful class of 2020, when the world returns to normal and everything goes back to the way it was, my wish for you is that you don’t fall back into your normal routine. I hope that you change. I hope you choose to live. Because you know how quickly it could all be gone.

Just as our class bible verse says, “the lord is greater than the giants you face.” We have faced many giants, many things that have overwhelmed us, but we have overcome them, and we will overcome this.

It was a pleasure to spend the past four years with you. Each and every one of you holds a very special place in my heart. I have been incredibly blessed to make so many amazing memories with you and I am so excited to see what the future holds for all of us. Stay true to yourself, and you can accomplish all things.

Much love for y’all,