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On graduation and the rest of your life

An open letter to the Class of 2021

To the Class of 2021,

Whether you went to high school in Midway or Grand Forks, odds are the past 12 months haven’t been the senior year you’d hoped for. Let’s face it, the universe threw a wrench into the works while you were finishing Grade 11. The pandemic gutted your extra-curriculars, bogged down your course loads and generally messed with your heads. All the while, many adults chose to blame your generation for the virus’s spread.

Through it all, you had to face up to adult situations, attached to very adult outcomes, minus the freedoms that normally come with adult responsibilities. Follow the rules, stay hyper-vigilant and don’t screw it up for the rest of us, you were told.

You came through it all holding your own, which is more than can be said for some of those “grown-ups.”

It’s often said that adversity hardens one’s resolve. But if getting over life’s hurdles prepares you for, well, life’s scarier, more daunting hurdles, remember that it’s okay to break down every now and again. Life after high school gets real — fast. And real life comes with real pain.

It’s how you bounce back that counts.

People will tell you, “the decisions you make between now and 25 will largely determine your future.” Pay them no mind. Pursuing a post-secondary education or a vocation is a grind. So, don’t enter into that because you feel it’s something you should do. In fact, stay away from “should’s” altogether.

Rise up to your challenges — don’t live for other people’s expectations.

In the meantime, relax. You got this.

— Laurie Tritschler