Spring 2020 Last Lecture – “Let It Go”

I feel like it is so weird to be giving the last Friday lecture for the semester by letter, but I know you guys do not watch the videos on classroom, so fingers crossed you read:

I’ve been throwing around ideas of how to start my final Friday lecture for this semester when we had so few Fridays together in person. How to send my seniors off into their futures, whatever that may hold for them, and what to say to my freshmen, sophomores, and juniors to encourage you all through the summer, and maybe leave you all with something that stays with you for longer than a weekend. 

I wrote something else completely, then in light of everything I wrote this when inspiration struck as I was trying to write a grad school paper. 

So I will try to make this short and sweet, so here we go.

A wise man has encouraged me over the last few months, that sometimes you have to be queen Elsa and just let it go. 

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If you’ve known me for like ten seconds, you know I am an overachiever, and a perfectionist, so “letting it go” is not really my style (I’m more of a Belle…or Leslie Knope if you will).

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Anyways, quarantine has made all of the people who have to let things go. So I have two points based on “let it go.”

  1. There have been so many things all of us have had to let go in the last few months. A typical graduation, having family accompany us to important medical appointments, flying (or traveling at all) to Boston to meet your sibling’s firstborn, birthday celebrations, seeing friends and family members regularly, getting your haircut and/or dyed, watching or attending sporting events… These are just a few that come to mind. 

But we have had no choice but to let it go. 

So, if we have had the ability to let go of these things, or put things on hold, my first point is, what else can we let go of? 

Can we let go of apathy, can we let go of political division, can we let go of hate, can we let go of the fear of the future? Can we let go of the things that do not really matter or the things that are not positive? Because we have already learned to let a lot go. 

  1. My second point is this. If we have learned to let all of these things go, there have also been pieces of life that we have realized are too important to let go. Finding ways to see family members and friends when we can’t in person (Facetime, Zoom, Skype, etc), weddings of 10 or less with drive-by receptions because love cannot wait, online learning for college because we want to get to that career or educational goal we have set, neighborhood block parties from our driveways, Zoom graduation parties, and an absolutely awesome graduation opportunity to drive the Charlotte Speedway to graduate (I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS AND CANNOT WAIT TO SEE A FEW OF YOU!!! I AM INTERNALLY SCREAMING WITH EXCITEMENT, FOR REAL!!), are a few that come to mind. 

So what is so important that you know you cannot ‘let it go?’ Loving your neighbor like yourself, the friendship that you have continued to pursue even when you cannot see each other in person, (clearly graduation), standing up for what matters to you, self-growth, finding what matters to you, and choosing what is best for you. I think we can really use what we have learned in the past few months to make decisions on what we want to keep in our lives and daily schedules as we transition out of quarantine. 

So, all this to say, do not let the time we have spent at home be a waste. I hope you participated in your courses and you learned, but I hope that even more so you learned about yourself and about life and what matters to you. Learning happens outside of classrooms too (but this does not mean education is not important, don’t get it twisted). I hope at the end of quarantine you feel that you learned something from this season of your life. 

To wrap this up, I genuinely miss you, guys. I also hope that you have a fun, relaxing, and safe (and socially distanced) summer. I hate we only had seven weeks together in person, but you all are still “one of mine” like I promised you on day one. I am here should you need me, now, in the coming months, and even years into the future- just let me know what you need and I will help however I can. Thank you for being my first kids at Concord High School, and thank you that I feel happiness at the idea of being back with you in the coming months. 

All my best. 

TLDR: Don’t waste quarantine, learn what matters, I love you guys, I’m always here. Also, why did you not read my Friday Lecture? You’re done with me, you could have given me this one joy.