My fellow graduates,
I’m so incredibly proud of us. The past four years weren’t what we signed up for, but they happened nonetheless. We’ve gotten through these years dealing with a divided nation, social reforms and a pandemic which forced the world to come to a halt. Yet, we continued. Take this time to absorb and realize that despite the difficulties, we have made it to the finish.
There will be no immediate ceremony. You can’t hug your friends and fellow classmates. There will be no official recognition of your accomplishment until the diploma arrives in the mail. Shock is what we’re going to feel this spring as our courses come to an end.
Take this time and be selfish with it. Look back through Snapchat memories of the good times and the great times. Cry, laugh and mourn the past. Reach out to friends you’ve kept these four years and remember the ones we’ve lost.
Most of all, give yourself a break. I’m sure most of you have heard someone say something along the lines of “we know this sucks.”
But we aren’t defined by the virus. There isn’t a stamp on us with the label “coronavirus graduate.” We have fought through more than that. We entered college and we came out as different people in a now completely different world. If anything, we can now handle almost anything thrown at us.
The government confirms U.F.O. sightings? Cool.
The economy is melting? We’ve seen this before.
A novel virus is spreading around the world? Better stock up on toilet paper.
A TV show personality is running for president? Again?
In the words of the psychedelic rock band the Grateful Dead, it really has been a long strange trip. This summer we close the book that is our college experience and place it back on the shelf. I think we’re all waiting for things to get somewhat normal again before we pick up the next book in our series but once we’ve had our moment to reflect, go ahead and open it.
Wherever it may take you, I hope it’s filled with adventure, love and some laughter.
Phoenix Opinion Editor