Members of the Urbana High School Class of 2020 march down the isle in an empty auditorium Tuesday, May 19, 2020. Video was taken of the students marching in their cap and gown to be edited together for a virtual graduation ceremony since they couldn’t have a real ceremony due to the coronavirus. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Sorry, kid. This year has been rough, but you’ll learn from it

You earned “normal.” We won’t get back to normal for a while.

Sorry, kid.

Based on the photos that fill my Facebook feed each fall, you and/or your parents have been waiting for your senior year for a very long time.

If you are among the very lucky ones, your mom or/and dad has posted just shy of a billion “first day of school” photos since before you mastered tying your own shoelaces.

>> Bruised, bloody, but unbroken. We survived. 

There was the one of you with no front teeth strapped into a book bag the size of Australia, grinning at the front door before your maiden voyage to first grade.

If coronavirus had not effectively canceled 2020, the next one may have been you waving goodbye to your folks after they dropped you off for your first day of college this fall.

If you are among the lucky ones, your mom and/or dad surely assumed there would be photos of you all grown up and dressed to kill for prom and tossing a cap high into the air the day you graduated high school.

Maybe you’d get the original cap back, maybe not.

>> AMELIA ROBINSON Here’s what flowers and a teenage boy in super baggy pants can teach us about humanity’s survival 

If you were among the lucky, there was an effort to celebrate the first chapter of your life ending.

As nice as it may have been, it probably didn’t make up for the loss of the pomp and circumstance that comes with high school graduation.

Your yearbook probably won’t be filled with memories you can laugh about for years to come.

Sorry, kid.

I wish I could tell you that the road ahead will be smooth.

I won’t lie.

If I did, you’d see through the way people saw through the gap in your front teeth when you were a kid. You’re smart that way.

There is a chance your parents won’t be able to wave goodbye to you on the first day of college because campuses won’t be open — or will be open differently than any of us would’ve imagined.

I agree, this is not fair. Many things aren’t these days.

You earned “normal.”

We won’t get back to normal for a while.

Sorry, kid.

>> Artist behind popular Instagram cartoon has Kettering roots: ‘It’s an amazing thing, to grow up in Ohio’

You are going to face many challenges in life. Some of those challenges will be similar to the ones we all faces. Others will be uniquely yours.

No, your parents will not have “real” photos of your senior year to share with their friend on Facebook.

But you’ll no doubt give them plenty to put in their virtual time capsules.

Use the lessons of 2020 to your advantage.

Remember you are resilient.

Perhaps this is the first big challenge you’ve faced — or maybe you had major challenges before coronavirus.

Perhaps you weren’t among the lucky ones and your parents weren’t around, willing or able to post those first day or school photos of you.

Like the challenges to come, this one is just one chapter in your life.

>> WORTH THE DRIVE: At Hocking Hills, visitors can practice ‘Natural Social Distancing’

A chapter is only part of the book. You likely learned that before first grade.

A ceremony is only the celebration of the accomplishment.

You still achieved, and your book has just begun.

Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.

X