To the senior, your story doesn’t end here.
You thought you had time.
You thought you had two more months of late nights eating junk food with your best friends after a date party. Of walking through the quad to your favorite class with your favorite professor. Of meeting your best friends for Taco Tuesday, and then staying out way too late when you know you have to get up for an 8 am class in the morning. Of formals and themed parties, some of them you already had the outfits for. Of nights where you all danced like 6th graders at a canteen, just because you are now seniors and you don’t care to act cool anymore. Of bucket lists and senior bar crawls and the “lasts”. Of memories that you will want to store in a mason jar and keep forever.
You thought you had time. But you were wrong.
It seems that in a blink of an eye, our senior year was robbed from us. Friends quickly had to leave, some of them without a goodbye. Professors who you thought you could thank for 4 years of teaching, you might never see again. Some of your younger friends, your littles and grand littles, you’re not sure the next time you will reunite. It all happened so quickly.
We are grieving our expectations, what we thought this season was going to look like. What we thought would happen was overcome with what is happening, what is real, what cannot change.
And yet, there is still hope.
There is still hope.
Your college experience might have been the sweetest four years of your life. I know they have been for me, as far as my 22 years have gone. But just because college is ending, does not mean our lives are ending, too.
Let’s be grateful for our college experiences. What a gift that we didn’t hate college! Let’s thank God for the lessons it brought us, for the people we met, for the wonderful opportunities.
But we can be grateful for the past, without living in the past.
What I’ve found myself doing the last couple of days is thinking “what-if.” What if we had graduation, the big celebration behind several years of hard work and dedication. Or what if we had formal, or spring break, or more time with our best friends. What if.
But these what-ifs are a waste of time. Because unfortunately, a lot of life is out of our control. War happens. The economy tanks. Tragedy hits. Bad things happen to good people. We don’t get to have everything go according to our plans.
Yet, even though we cannot control what happens in life, we can TRUST that there is good to come.
There is good to come.
We know that in a year, we will look back on this and see GOOD come out of it. We know that it’s always darkest before it gets better. No matter how out of control we feel, and no matter what tragedy occurs, we know that it will be worked out for the good.
"And we know that God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)
And because we know there is going to be good, we can look forward to the future. We can move forward to a new beginning.
Let’s take it from Walt Disney. This legend actually survived through the 1918 Spanish Flu, the global pandemic that COVID-19 is compared to. So he is a valid source to go to in this time for wisdom. Walt Disney said:
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we are curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney
Yes, we can grieve what we lost. Graduations, closure, the rapid ending to our college experience.
But even though college might be ending, a new beginning is here. With its own beautiful experiences and relationships and joy.
We can grieve the past, while also being grateful for it. And we can be grateful for the past, while also moving forward to what will be.
Whatever we do, we must never lose hope for the future. We must look forward to the NEW things, things even in this season, that God has planned for us. We must keep moving forward, and trust that good is ahead.
Onward, we go.