An open letter to the class of 2020

By: Bailey Hendricks, Editor-in-Chief

Dear class of 2020,

I’m sure many of you can agree with me when I say it is a hard time to be a senior in college right now.

None of us, including our professors, our family, our friends — no one — thought our very last semester of college would end like this. I know a lot of us have taken the news of not being able to return to campus hard, including myself.

However, I also know that it almost feels trivial to be mourning the loss of our last semester with so many more serious problems happening not only in the United States, but around the whole world right now. But it’s okay to feel how you’re feeling.

For all of us, we were hoping for more closure, more happiness and more celebration in our very last semester of schooling ever. We left campus not knowing that we would never return for a class again. Not knowing we would never have Chick-Fil-A at Susq again, or fight for a parking spot at the Union, or gather with our best friends at Freedom Square on a sunny day to catch up.

There are so many memories we were hoping to still have in our last semester. It feels like all of our hard work these last four years got cut short. We even have to wait until the fall to walk across the stage to shake the hand of President Schatzel in SECU Arena. For many seniors, we were hoping to win our last sports game and be recognized at senior night. Others may have simply just wanted one more movie night in their dorms with their very best friends.

For me, my very last issue of The Towerlight came much sooner than expected. This is my very last print issue of The Towerlight ever. I wrote for my elementary school’s newspaper, back when I brought a tape recorder to interviews, and then was editor-in-chief of my high school’s newspaper. I stepped foot into The Towerlight office in August of 2016, knowing that this is where I wanted to be, and I’m so glad I did.

For you, fellow senior, you may have been in soccer since you were very little and have worked so hard all your life at the game to be able to play in college, just to not be able to show off your skills in a final game.

Although The Towerlight will continue reporting and posting online at this semester, I will certainly miss gathering every Monday with my fellow editors in the Union — making jokes, laughing, and gathering close around my computer at the end of the day to admire our hard work of the next day’s issue.

Class of 2020, remember, it’s okay to feel how you’re feeling. With so much uncertainty and sadness going on in the world right now that you may feel guilty for feeling this way, but just know your feelings are still valid.

Although we will have to wait a little longer than expected, I look forward to sitting with you in a crowded SECU Arena to reminisce about our crazy four years as Tigers together. From facing the perils of construction together, to finally making the Dean’s List.

With all that has happened, though, I think we can learn from this to never take anything for granted. Moving forward, let’s embrace those times we had to vigorously take notes in TSEM 101, got to try the CFA’s amazing breakfast sandwiches, or had to deal with the struggle that is renting books at the UStore. Let’s never assume we have all the time in the world to say goodbye or to make our mark on the world. Live every day with gratitude and always embrace every opportunity that comes to you.

Thank you, class of 2020, for walking beside me to classes, for making small talk in the elevator, and for inspiring us all with everything you have done to leave your mark on TU. 

Stay TU strong as you leave your mark on the rest of the world.


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