AllSportsTucson.com has reached out for high school seniors to write the class of 2020 a letter during this unique time of their schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s letter was written by Catalina Foothills volleyball standout Jiana Lawson, who will next attend Portland and play for the Pilots.
Dear Class of 2020,
Hi! My name is Jiana Lawson and I am a Catalina Foothills High School senior. Just like seniors all across the nation, this was the year I had anticipated since my first day of freshman year. All of a sudden, on March 15, 2020 Governor Ducey announced the closure of all Arizona schools, and our senior year was lost in the midst of this pandemic. I was wrecked and I am sure many of you were too.
Not to minimize the level of devastation this virus has brought not only to our nation, but to our globe, I am truly devastated by the loss that has come because of this virus. The reality of our circumstances is not easy to cope with emotionally, physically or economically. Nor was it pleasant attempting to process why this happened, when it was our time to shine. We worked so diligently to maintain an “acceptable” GPA, fill our experience list with extracurriculars, impress colleges with our test scores and personality via paper, and oh yeah, just be teenagers. It was all going to be worth it though, when we walked across that stage, and heard the presenter call our name while a section in the crowd exploded with screams of excitement and joy, while air horns blared, all indicating the completion of a chapter. Man oh man, it is that what every kid has hoped for, to make a memory that would last a lifetime, their “High School Musical Moment.”
It was unforeseeable that our ceremonies would be cancelled, postponed until next fall, and or modified to accommodate for a global pandemic. That was in nobody’s contingency plan, and it was not even plausible to us as seniors that the “Coronavirus” would affect us, let alone put the nation on pause. Although we were caught off guard by this virus and it may have suspended some of our celebration, it did not strip us of all the work we have done; all the hours we put in, all the times we sacrificed our social life for that sport, stayed up late cramming for an exam or experienced FOMO (fear of missing out) for that “A.”
Even though I pray and hope that all seniors get to walk across that stage like I did, I would rather know that each and every senior who reads this can learn the importance of celebrating themselves. Take every big and little win in your life seriously, not for granted. This, a lesson that we have so (in)conveniently learned in this time however, is true. We as people are not defined by what happens to us in life, but how we respond to it, so take this time and reflect on how far you’ve come. Write it down, yell it from your front door, make it known you’re a proud Class of 2020 graduate. Delight in who you are. You and I are living history, our legacy will never die. We are forever, class of 2020 strong and we will not be denied.
Catalina Foothills, Class of 2020