It struck me that you were conceived, gestated, and born in the space immediately before, during, and after 9/11. Someone on social shared that she heard her graduating seniors heartbeat for the first time the day the towers fell. The hope and fear that must have brought, feelings that perhaps you felt growing inside your mothers.
And now, the spring of your senior year of high school, gone.
It came to me that maybe this is happening to you as a group for a reason. As you turn 18 and start your first legal foray into adulthood, maybe this is your push to help the collective good. You see, with one foot still in childhood and one foot into the next phase, we need you. We need you to stamp your feet and recognize that this isn’t fair. That some of this could have been avoided. And, perhaps, instead of doing what “normal” teenagers do to rebel, you channel this and help topple the systems that are in place.
This doesn't mean marching in protests for everyone. Some of you will be writers, helping to translate your collective feelings. Some of you will be orators, speaking to groups, large & small, in-real-life & virtual. Some of you will be entrepreneurs, students, workers, leaders. Some of you will catalog all of this and make your changes later when you find that even more reform will be needed. Introvert or extrovert, you all have a voice AND a choice.
At 18, you can vote. And at 18, you definitely have more energy than we do at 30, 40, 50 and 60. Maybe the ground swelling needs to start with you. Like Harry Potter, who also didn’t get a senior year, maybe this is your time to collect, gather (virtually for now), and build the world YOU want to live in as an adult. Not the world you were handed as a child.
That is my hope for you #classof2020. I know you can do great things, even during really really hard times.
Love, all the older people who will walk alongside you.