Sincerely, the class of 2020

Jaidyn Nelson, Staff writer

The first day I walked the halls of Fossil Ridge, I can assure you I felt everything any one of you felt. I was scared, intimidated, and I could have sworn I started counting down the days until I got to get out of the place. But sitting here today, I regret every minute I took for granted walking those halls, knowing now I will never have the chance to do it again. And not that high school was always pleasant, but there is truth in the saying “you never know what you have until it’s gone.” 

The ages of 15, 16, and 17 are not easy. You lose friends, you make mistakes, you fail and you fail again. You learn things, hit reality, lose yourself, go through stages of insecurity, loneliness, frustration, maybe even through a heartbreak. But these stages are critical in learning and growth. In maturity and in shaping you into an adult. Every single one of these bitter feelings are a part of high school and growing up and they are the moments we live for. As kids, you live for the late nights, the thrills, the trouble—anything and everything with a story to tell someday. Unfortunately, for the class of 2020, the only stories left to tell our kids someday about the end of senior year entail unfulfilled promise and disappointment, thanks to COVID-19.

So here is the reality: my heart goes out to every single person whose health is jeopardized, who have had to take on new responsibility or stress, or who has had to lose anticipation for sports seasons or prom in midst of this pandemic. But for all of you underclassmen grumbling because plans changed, please do not. You have time, and much unlike the class of 2020, you have more opportunities to experience things like prom and graduation which shape your younger years. You have chances to accept that things have ended. You have time to see, hug, and say final hoorahs to your closest friends. You have time to thank your teachers for their undivided support. Things are likely far from over for you. My simple request is that above all else, everyone reading stays safe and healthy, but I’d love to hope we can be mindful of others during these uncertain times too. 

My final messages are those of gratitude. Thank you Fossil Ridge for bringing me so much joy, for teaching me defeat, for giving me friends for life, and for all the growth and learning you’ve provided. I have shed blood, sweat and many tears of both sadness and joy throughout high school, and yet, I would not trade a single one of them for the world. Given the chance, I would have to say that I would do it all over again just to bask in the glory and to take in any moments and opportunities I fear I may have taken for granted. 

It is easy to believe COVID-19 is not responsible for much more than causing havoc, heartbreak and uncertainty but I am choosing to be an optimist here. It’s made me more thankful than ever for every teacher, classmate, teammate or opportunity which has shaped this journey for us. At the end of the day, I would like to believe that you cannot have a rainbow without a little rain, even if the rainbow is simply feelings of appreciation. So with that, thank you to our friends, classmates, teammates, teachers, and supporters for contributing to the journey of the class of 2020. Additionally, thank you COVID-19 for allowing us to feel blessed for the little things in life, such as the journey known as high school— it has been a fun one. Peace out Fossil!