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I have a message for the graduating classes of 2020:

Congratulations on your graduation. After years of hard work, you did it.

Like so many of you, I’m at a loss for words due to the surreal situation that we’ve found ourselves facing. It all happened so fast. We gradually watched as more and more of the things we looked forward to were canceled, and as more and more of the people we love were being impacted.

After thought, the best I can compare this to is a sudden death. We’ve all somehow just simultaneously experienced a sudden death of someone very important to us. We lost our senior year and there is no chance of it returning.

Don’t rob yourself of mourning. But in times of global strife, it’s our purview to find a glimmer of hope and to help each other. Let’s do that now. Let’s play on Team Human.

Know that your sacrifices are for the good of everyone, and that you stand in solidarity with so many others in the Class of 2020. While we don’t know how long this will last, it won’t last forever. Celebrate your accomplishments, you earned it. Best wishes moving forward into a bright, post-pandemic future.

CHARLEE THOMPSON

Urbana