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Challenge: Class of 2020

Don't feel sorry for my High School Senior

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During our Coronavirus Pandemic, (which I now refer to as The Rona) so many nice people have expressed how badly they feel for our High School Seniors. In Indiana, we are on e-learning for the remainder of the year. So, all of our kids here in the good ol Hoosier State had their school year abruptly cut short on March 13. They didn’t even know they weren’t going to come back to school at that time which means that nobody really got to experience that final goodbye.

If you’re a High School Senior, this means that you are missing out on the final months of your High School experience. The final months of your childhood. The final months of that often wonderful time with your friends, your community. The final months of high school often include some once in a lifetime experiences such as Prom, Spring Break, your final season of your High School Sport and other often ‘Seniors Only’ activities.

Yes, that even includes possibly missing out on a Graduation Ceremony. While we don’t have the official word from WHS, a traditional Graduation Ceremony might not even happen.

While all of this is incredibly disappointing, I am not one to feel overly sorry for these kids. When I was an avid watcher of The Dr Phil Show, I remember a phrase that he used to say, “We’re not raising kids, we’re raising adults”. That has stayed with me ever since and I often think of that as I raise my own kids.

So, I say to my own son, while this is not how we thought your senior year would turn out, I don’t feel sorry for you. Despite this, you’ll live and you’ll be fine. Some might even say, ‘Welcome to the real world where life is often disappointing and I hope this teaches you to deal with it in a healthy way and keep going’. It sounds cold but this can be a great lesson to some seniors out there who might have been coddled by Helicopter or Lawnmower Parents

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for most of their life.

High School Seniors in the Greatest Generation graduated and went directly to war in another country. Our kids are way better off than them. This disappointment can toughen up our kids and help them as adults. I hope this is as rough as life will get for my own son and all the High School Seniors. I am wise enough to know that is not true, and hope that this distress will help him deal with larger hardships that will inevitably come his way.

So, don’t feel sorry for Nick. We thought his final lesson in High School would be an Econ final, but it’s not. It’s learning to deal with disappointment and come out better because of it. I know this lesson will be remembered far better than any written exam and will make him a stronger & more successful adult because of this.

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