Dum Spiro Spero - Another Open Letter to Seniors

by SYDNEY CLIFFORD


To my fellow WHS seniors--


Things have changed since my last letter to you. We first started off thinking we’d be back to school after Spring break. Then it was May 1. Now, our last day at Westfield High School was March 13, not May 22. We weren’t able to walk those halls for a reminiscent one last time. We weren’t able to give our teachers, or maybe even each other, a proper goodbye.


Things have been cut short. Things have been cancelled. Things like senior sports seasons, championships, American Pie, Prom, final concerts, “Shrek: the Musical,” senior assassin, and much more in between. Even with that, right now is a time of disappointments and uncertainties.


What I’m trying to say is the brutal truth: the Class of 2020 has been robbed.


But it seems kind of fitting, doesn’t it? It seems like throughout our time at Westfield, our class has never had “certainties.” I mean, look at how much has changed since freshman year. Remember 6th period? Remember when snow days were just cancelled school days? Remember the old Learning Center? Remember The Horse and how it would be decorated on spirit days? Remember when the hallways were “normal” and not boarded up? Remember the first Dance Marathon? Remember when we had “enough” parking spots? Remember when we didn’t have a Sadie Hawkins dance? Remember when graduation was home sweet home at Riverview Health Stadium?


The existence of the Class of 2020 has been change. It’s kind of ironic that we also don’t get a normal end, or even an end, to our senior year.


But looking past that, we are used to change. We may not like it, but we’ve been through so many changes as a class. And even with them, we’ve been able to grow stronger and look ahead.


Like my other letter, I’m going to pull in a foreign phrase as a theme for this letter. Unlike the other letter, I had to look up this one on the internet. I’m telling you, times have changed. I ended up finding a phrase in Latin, and I think it has the best message for us: dum spiro spero. Translation: While I breathe, I hope.


I know that right now is bleak. I know that right now is hard. I know that it’s disappointing, angering, frustrating and any emotions in between.


But we can still hope.


We can still hope for a better tomorrow. We can still hope that those suffering will get better. We can still hope that the medical staff will be able to care for their patients without any strain. We can still hope that someday soon, we will be able to see each other again.


For our class, we can still hope. We can still hope for a graduation ceremony. We can still hope for recognition for what we’ve gone through. We can still hope for a day to dance in those dresses we bought in January (I’m calling out myself here, too). We can still hope for a fall semester at our colleges of choice, however “normal” it may be. We can still hope to go serve our country in the armed forces or enter the workforce.


It’s a hard lesson to be learning at 18 years of age. But even with all this change and uncertainty, I know that the Class of 2020 will be some of the strongest people out there; I don’t need to hope for that one. But the only way that we’ll be able to get there is by still having hope for that tomorrow.


While there are uncertainties about the “end” of our time at Westfield, we’ll be able to get to that end, whatever it may be. Stay safe. Stay healthy. I’ll see you all soon.


Dum spiro spero, fellow rocks,


Sydney

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