Dear Class of 2022,
Congratulations, you made it and the finish line is right there. You are breaking the tape that crosses from childhood to adulthood. Your first marathon—from elementary school to high school- is over and you are all winners for making it to the end.
Your class has experienced life in such a different way. You left the pandemic as sophomores, many unable to drive with acne and braces. You returned, either at the end of your junior year or at the start of your senior year, “almost-adults”—young confident people ready to take on the next chapter that involves a big change.
Sadly, the dash in between feels like lost time because we were forced to disconnect from each other. High school did not go as planned. But perhaps it wasn’t all lost- perhaps you learned and grew in ways we could have never imagined. Perhaps you are stronger and smarter and wiser for all you have been through. Perhaps your class has left a profound legacy.
Milestones and moments were different, and yet, here you stand, strong and determined, able to have a semi-normal final year and create the memories you deserved to have. Did you get the “full high school experience”? No, but that didn’t prevent you from having a memorable high school experience and walking away with a senior year to remember.
Class of 2022, your legacy stands with your resilience. Your ability to rebound. To recover. To adapt and to adjust. To keep showing up- even though things were different or structured in a way that didn’t make sense. To find a new normal and to find new ways to have fun. To come back together with a new found appreciation for things other classes took for granted.
Ever heard that phrase “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”? That’s exactly what the Class of 2022 did.
In the face of adversity or misfortune, your class lead the way. Covid created sourness and many difficulties but your amazing class turned a negative situation into a sweet and positive outlook by leading the way for the younger classes who watched you handle all the challenges. Motivating oneself and others through the tough times needs mental strength and an external push and you did just that for your school.
You showed up when they needed you most. You made lemonade.
If there’s one thing the Class of 2022 learned, it is to enjoy and to savor all of the good moments, regardless of how big or small they are. Seeing you on campus this year, at football games and rallies, at dances and sporting events, in band performances or plays and art shows we got to experience in person, there was a newfound appreciation for time together. We celebrated this like never before. You relished the little things (seeing faces, being on campus, giving hugs, and hanging with friends) and most of it surrounded what is most important in life- creating meaningful relationships. What a profound lesson you learned early on. Learning this, knowing this, and living this will make you better humans to collect, create, and cherish those relationships as you merge into adulthood.
You are ahead of the game.
The Class of 2022 learned about gratitude for gathering, supporting, connecting, and experiencing life beyond our screens. A grateful heart is a magnet for miracles and seeing you all together, truly felt like a miracle.
A couple of things to remember as you start the next Book of You:
- Collect memories, not things. Your scrapbook of life is a made of small moments or encounters that shape and form us. No one can ever take your memories away from you.
- Everyone will tell you to start investing early. Great advice but more importantly, start investing in yourself early as well. Never doubt your worth or your value.
- Rejection is just redirection. Those moments you fail are not the end, they are just periods in which you reset, recover and change directions.
- Failure is not a bad thing. Keep swinging.
- You don’t have to have it all together. Everyone’s journey is so different so don’t compare your life to that of someone else— especially their highlight reel or social media face. No one’s life is perfect. Where you are is exactly where you should be. Lean in.
- Life is unpredictable. You will feel lost at times, and wonder what comes next but you will also find yourself in new places and claim new layers of who you are.
- Trust your inner compass. If something doesn’t feel right, listen to that voice. Trust what you know about the person who is on the journey—that would be you!
- Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Everyone struggles but please don’t feel you need to suffer alone. Help is there, just let us know you need it.
- Be kind. Be kind. Be kind.
- Finally, never— EVER- forget you are a baddie. If life knocks you down, land on your back. If you can look up, you can get up. There is nothing as powerful as the human spirit. Never give up on yourself.
Class of 2022, you have been a joy to watch grow. You are the light of our life, our joy, our heart, and it has been a true privilege and blessing to watch you become exactly who you are supposed to be. No matter where life leads you, no matter what you do, we will forever and always be your #1 cheerleader.
Your story does not end here but continues to the next chapter or next book of an amazing life. Be determined, be unwavering, be resilient and grow into the incredible person you were raised to be.
Cheers with the big glass of lemonade your class made!!
We love you… To the Moon and Back!