Dear Class of 2020,
I have been trying to formulate words for what I want to say to you for days now. The fact of the matter is, this sucks. There is no way around that. The state of the world right now is scary and upsetting. Last week, I found myself stunned by how sad I was. I was missing even the strangest and most mundane parts of my day-to-day life in Miami, not to mention my friends and all my belongings I left when I thought I was returning in seven days. The inability to say goodbye to the people who shaped my life for the past 3.5 years has rendered me feeling lost.
Our time at UM was never smooth sailing. We had two major hurricanes (three if you count Matthew freshman year, which I’m not sure I do) interrupt our studies. Each one of us handled our own personal challenges and despite everything, we endured. As a class and as ’Canes, we endured. This is just one final bump in the road and we will endure this too.
Here are a couple of things that have helped keep me sane during all the madness:
1. This really is temporary. I’ve always joked that if I ever were to get a tattoo it would be the Hebrew saying, “gam zeh ya’avor,” which means “this too shall pass,” and it will. This moment in time is nothing but that. A moment. It is deeply painful and we are all longing for our lives as we knew them, but life will return to normal. Perhaps everyone will be slightly more hygienic. Candidly, it shouldn’t take a global pandemic to teach people to wash their damn hands.
2. Take the time to grieve the losses. The games that got cancelled, the shows that won’t perform, the nights at lagniappe and e11even, senior week, commencement ball. These are things that we all looked forward to, it is important to acknowledge that we have lost a lot to this virus.
3. Remember what you have. Take stock of the blessings in your life. Whether it’s your morning coffee, your dog or your daily Prozac, remember that you have much to be grateful for.
4. There has never been an era more equipped to handle this. People everywhere, including at our very own University of Miami medical school, are working tirelessly to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. We have the technology to stay connected with our friends and family even when we are all scattered in our own corners of the world — make sure you use it! Connecting with and supporting one another will get us through this.
5. The two months we missed cannot and will not nullify all we have gained from our time as University of Miami students. Every person we’ve met, every class we’ve taken, every organization we joined has shaped us. We learned and grew so much that sometimes it’s hard to imagine who we were before we came to UM. We are forever changed because we attended and loved this school.
6. We will endure. We are stronger than we believe we are and evermore capable of handling the challenges that life throws at us. We need each other right now. Do what you can to keep our world safe and know that everything will be waiting for you when this is all over.
My seniors. It is unfathomable to me that we cannot finish our college careers the way we had intended to. However, this is life. We must adjust and adapt and find new ways to celebrate. The best is yet to come for the class of 2020. Keep your heads up, we got this!
Love you, Go ’Canes,
Gabby Rosenbloom, Class of 2020
words & design_gabby rosenbloom photo_the university of miami