Dear 2020 Graduates,

Firstly, I am so sorry that you are dealing with a pandemic during the most significant time of your life. This time of the year is intended to be educational, fun, and, most of all: noteworthy. The achievement that you made isn't lesser because of the circumstances — and I am writing to you today to let you know that.

I am sorry that you are dealing with ignorance from those who are much older than you. I am sorry that you continuously get embroiled in a political debate when you express your feelings about not having a senior trip, prom, or commencement.

When you hear the words along the lines of "it is what it is" or "it doesn't really matter," just remember that they're wrong — and it does matter. Your concerns are valid during this difficult time.

Do not let anyone equate not having a proper school year to a horrible virus that is affecting so many people — it's not fair. It's not equitable. You get one high-school graduation, and while your commencement may be postponed, it surely won't be the same — and you have the right to express your feelings about it.

You deserve so much more — but even you (for the most part) understand the severity of the situation we are dealing with — and some of you are also taking care of loved ones that have come down with the illness.

You deserve everything in the world for all of the hard work that you have put into your schooling.

Your achievement is important.

Your achievement is recognized.

Congratulations.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app