To my graduating sister friends: Congratulations! You should be so proud to be graduating and taking this next step in your life. I wrote this for you knowing that this isn't the circumstances you were anticipating but still so worth celebrating. Keep reading if you're struggling with feeling disappointed but ready for what's next:
Dear graduating sister friends,
I am sorry. This is not the way you expected to end your senior year and overall college experience.
I know these past six weeks were meant to be filled with banquets, award ceremonies, final classes & exams, heartfelt goodbyes with favorite professors and classmates, your last commute to campus... I'm sure the list could go on & on.
I remember my last six weeks at Arizona State University. I was exhausted from working so hard on classes I'd lost interest in, stressed about my thesis defense, excited for my post-grad plans, and a ball of mixed emotions leaving a place that had come to mean so much but ready to be gone.
Can you relate to any of that? I'm sure even from the comfort of your own home you have felt similar emotions of readiness and excitement to be done mixed with uncertainty of what's next and what you're leaving behind.
However, I cannot relate to the disappointment from not having those "last" events... those moments be sentimental with those that have supported you through your college journey. I am so sorry those moments were taken away from you. And even though technology is a blessing, ZOOM celebrations probably can't compare to what you were anticipating.
Even without COVID, at the end of the semester you were still going to leave campus and your sorority house and your favorite professors and friends. Despite the end result of this being the same, it's okay to be disappointed.
You don't need to justify your frustration and sadness to anyone, thinking it doesn't compare to others' quarantine realities.
As my dear friend (more like aspirational role model!!) talked about on her podcast last week, comparing our situations to others implies that compassion and empathy are limited resources. But as you and I both know, there's enough for us to extend to every person facing difficulty right now ~ and that includes you in whatever emotions you're experiencing as you process.
I share this with you because I hope you take the time to grieve what was lost, but you also deserve to find creative ways to celebrate what you've accomplished .
SISTER ~ you're getting a college degree!!
**cue "Oh The Places You'll Go" by Dr. Suess**
While I understand the impact COVID-19 will forever have on the way you look back on your college experience, the four years of hard work pursuing your degree and cultivating your passions cannot be taken away from you. AND I hope you won't let what's happening in the world diminish their significance. You are an educated, passionate woman ready to take on the world and I hope you recognize this transition in your life as you deserve!
But I also want to encourage you that this is not the end of your sorority journey. There is so much more waiting for you beyond the formals and weekly chapter meetings that you’ve known and loved. There is authentic lifelong friendship, opportunities to serve others, and a network of sisters ready to welcome you with open arms.
So congratulations, class of 2020! Celebrate your accomplishment in the ways you can and know that we are thinking of you as you embark on this next chapter of your sorority journey!