Saying goodbye, also, congratulations!

Sojin Shin || Opinion & Editorials Editor

Photo Courtesy of Background vector created by freepik – www.freepik.com

Among many things that COVID-19 has taken away from F&M students, the opportunity to properly say goodbye may be the biggest loss.

Of course, there are ways to talk. We have technology such as Zoom or Hangouts or messenger available at hand. Still, the rupture happened so suddenly. There was no gradual realization that only after 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 week(s) these familiar faces will be gone from the campus. There were no late night movies, late night “real” tea talk, and there were no dumb accidents or bad decisions we would have made if it weren’t for the quarantine. My friends and I had planned to go to New York and participate in the Broadway Lottery. If that failed, we were going to watch an opera at the Lincoln center. My other senior friends wanted to go hiking in Appalachia, because, when else will you (we had no idea how high it was, of course)? In reality, I barely had time to make promises that we will stay in touch.

I am not writing this brief article, however, so we can mope about the loss.

Rather, I hope that we can spend time thinking about how we changed because of them. After all, we’ve done some good stuff together with the class of 2020. Things we would have never done on our own. We might have eaten food we never tasted because of them. We may have gone on a terrible road trip that we will have a good laugh about later in our lives, and we might have binged a show we would never watch (Thanks for Galavant, Leelee). I personally went stargazing for the first time in my life because my friend asked. I would have never guessed that a telescope can bring as much fun as I had that day.

If you never had that many senior friends, just think about all the memories we shared as a community. We’ve all seen or smelled the beautiful magnolia flowers in Hartman Green. We all loved or hated the Blueline smoothie. We all bought fruits at Central Market out of pure excitement. We groaned and complained about the eight-dollar wage here. It weren’t just small things, too. Last semester, we protested as a campus against racism, which led to the introduction of the bias reporting system. For all I know, we have Mein Bowl because enough people made complaints about the lack of diversity in F&M culinary culture. We have all lived and made this place better, and we are all indebted to the Class of 2020’s cooperation for all these changes. Hopefully, after they all leave, we will protest about our wage. It’s a gentrifying city, F&M! I can’t even get a sandwich with eight dollars!

Sorry, I digress. The point is that we’ve done wonderful, crazy, and not-so-crazy things together. These were wonderful three, two, or a year for all of us, the Class of 2020.

So, send out a message to a senior. Send them an e-card. Reminisce about how you’ve changed, how you have changed them, and all the great times you spent together. Just sit down and think about it. As I write this, I’m listening to Chopin, drinking Ashwagandha tea, and eating an apple with peanut butter. Those are all things that the people of this great graduating class have taught me. I am proud to say that they all have changed me for the better.

Congratulations, Class of 2020! We know you will do very well, no matter where you go.

F&M is taking SNS posts, photos, and other memories for their virtual Senior Celebration. The following link is the Google Doc for more specific instructions: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kOgzjciwtpEchrcnf-Wgm2_3ok3kiPVl-3OgahFj_5s/edit?ts=5ea702c4#.

Sophomore Sojin Shin is the Opinion & Editorials Editor. Her email is sshin@fandm.edu.

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