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Class of 2020: Here’s To You

Class of 2020: Here’s To You

Neasa Murphy

To say 2020 is a strange year is putting it very lightly. We’ve all been affected by this pandemic, and although we’re finally seeing a slow return to normality, it’s not over it yet. Through all of this, we have applauded our health workers and retail staff for their bravery, and rightly so. But there is one group of people who still deserve a round of applause – the school leavers.
If you’re a 6th class student beginning secondary school in September, or a 6th year waiting on results, or even a final year college student about to leave education behind altogether, it’s been a tough few months. School leavers, the year 2020 has broken many promises to many people, but for you, it’s broken some really important ones.
So, class of 2020, before you move on to the next stage in your life, take a moment for yourselves. Take a moment to acknowledge how brave you’ve been, and to think about the changes you’re going through. Take a moment to celebrate yourselves. Here’s to you, class of 2020. We at think you’re amazing. Here’s why.

Change is hard, even under normal circumstances

At different points in our lives, we all have to deal with change. Leaving primary school and adapting to secondary school is usually the first big one we remember, followed by leaving school and going to college. It’s normal to feel worried about the future when going through these changes. We often wonder if we’ll like our next school or job, if we’ll make new friends or if we’ll miss our old ones. School leavers of 2020, you’re going through all of this at a time when everyone feels strange and a bit worried. So, be proud of yourselves for handling it all, because you guys are troopers.

Rites of passage are important

Perhaps the world has greater problems than cancelled ceremonies and celebrations, but the loss of a rite of passage is still a loss. There’s a reason we hold graduation ceremonies and debs’ balls. Those things represent milestones. It’s hard to put your finger on exactly what it means to be a child, or a teenager, or an adult; so, we mark those changes with parties, square hats, and diplomas. These things might not be essential in the sense of food and shelter, but they’re important none the less. So, if you’re feeling a bit hard done by at not celebrating in the usual way, that’s ok!

You’ve dealt with a lot of confusion over the past few months

Nobody likes to feel like they’re not in control of their lives, or they don’t know what’s going to happen next. For a while there, it felt like we were getting a new update on the virus, the Leaving Cert, and the plan of action every five minutes, and it was exhausting for all of us! You may be waiting on Leaving Cert results or waiting to hear exactly how you’re going to attend school next year, but now isn’t the moment to focus on that too much. You’ve done everything you can, now we all have to sit tight and wait for September. So, enjoy this summer as much as you can, and just take a breather.

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Take a moment to celebrate

It’s not fair that you’re not getting the ceremonies you’ve expected for your whole life, so make sure you take a day to celebrate this summer. Get a cake, a glass of champagne (or sparkling apple juice), and toast your achievements with your family (safely, of course).  There may be a pandemic and a lot going on, but we can still have a nice evening at home (and now a meal in a restaurant) and celebrate important moments while taking safety into consideration.
So, find a way to mark your achievements class of 2020, you deserve it!
P.S if you do find a way to celebrate please send us your pics on Instagram! We’d love to see them!

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