The Class of 2020 unexpectedly ended their school year apart, with the pandemic crashing the party like a giant wrecking ball in motion.
For the Class of 2021, it wasn’t going to get any easier.
But, for this group of seniors, it was all about adaptability.
They had to learn from home, interacting with their classmates and teachers online.
Then there was hybrid, when they went to class some days and learned from home other days.
When activites started, such as sports, plays, speech, and everything in between, there were restrictions.
Returning to the classroom was touch-and-go, varying between school districts, based on state guidelines.
School leaders complied with COVID-19 contact guidelines, which impacted students from time to time.
There were days in which parents received phone calls saying their son or daughter could not return to school for 10 days due to exposure to someone who had COVID-19.
This not only hindered the educational experience, but it also impacted participation in extracurricular activities. There were times when games had to be rescheduled or cancelled altogether.
As 2020 ended, and 2021 took flight, it seemed like a light switch was flipped.
Vaccines became available, and it appeared there was an end in sight for the pandemic.
Students began returning to school on a more regular basis.
For the Class of 2021, I’d say it’s not always what you learn in the classroom that helps you in your future endeavors.
Life will be full of unexpected circumstances that may not seem fair, but they will shape you — hopefully for the better. They’ll make you humble, hopefully. They’ll challenge you as you try to figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life. And, that will be a lifelong ambition. Trust me on that one.
Your adaptability will be tested in so many ways you can’t even imagine. And, you won’t always be prepared. But, you’ll figure it out.
And, the earlier you learn patience and tolerance, realizing you won’t have all of the answers all of the time will make your life a little less stressful.
You’ll face decisions that will force or encourage you to step out of your comfort zone. You’ll be best to always look at these situations as opportunities to grow and learn.
And your future will be full of opportunities abound. It will be exciting and scary, sometimes at the same time.
And, the more adaptable you are, I’m guessing you’ll enjoy the ride a little more.
American Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr once said, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
To the Class of 2021, congratulations on your successes now and into the future.