An Open Letter to the Class of 2020


Logan Hanekamp

Dear Class of 2020,

Congratulations! Your hardest full year of high school is almost over. You guys made it! Through all of the standardized testing, heavy course loads, many AP classes, and so much more, junior year is extremely difficult. Junior year is when you really have to get serious about school. You start to think less about high school itself and more about what high school means for your next step in life. This is when you start thinking of life after high school and what you may want to do. You have worked so hard throughout high school so far and now you still have one last year until you graduate and are completely done. Everyone says senior year is going to fly by, and I personally only believe that is true if you let it fly by. If you sit around idly next year just going through the motions of senior year, then yes your year most likely will fly by. There are so many amazing, memorable things to look forward to next year and you are all going to want to be a part of each and every single one of them.

I am sure you have all heard of the term “Senioritis.” And yes, it is real. Senioritis comes at different times for everyone and at different degrees, but it is definitely a real thing. If you think walking the halls this week, after the class of 2019 is done on Thursday, as the oldest students at the school makes you feel old, then just wait. Wait until your first last day of school, your last home football game, your last school dance, your last first semester, your last AP test, and so many more. Yes, senior year is filled with lasts — and there are plenty of them, but there are just as many firsts. This open letter is not meant to make you all sad, depressed, or emo. It is to remind you to make the most out of your last year of high school and to give advice from your senior class now.

As hard as Senioritis may be to avoid, it is important to stay in check as long as you can. You may hear that senior year is the easiest, best time ever. Don’t get me wrong, senior year is by far my favorite year of high school –by far. Almost every senior this year can agree that first semester is no breeze when it comes to work. Teachers have not lightened up on work and expectations whatsoever. First semester is not the time to check out. At least, not quite so early. With college being one of the top priorities on all seniors’ minds, it’s important to recognize that colleges will look at your first semester grades and that November 1st creeps up out of nowhere. I recommend getting your applications done as soon as you can. This will heavily help your stress levels next fall. When it comes to college applications, get them done early and thoroughly. Also, get involved. This is one of your last chances to dip your toe into a club or group at the school that has always interested you, but you never had the time or effort to join. The first day of school. This is the first of the lasts of senior year. Make the most of it. Order a senior shirt. Wear it. It is fun to be a senior. Go take pictures with your friends. You’ll want these pictures by the end of senior year to look back at how it started and all the good times in between. Stay in the moment. It will fly by so make the most of every moment. If you play a sport or are in a club, enjoy the little moments. Enjoy your practices on your home turf, enjoy your last home game, and enjoy your teammates and coaches. As much as you may not want to admit it, you will miss these times.

When it comes to school dances, I’m sure you’ve all read the basic captions “last one best one” on Instagram. But honestly, this is true. If you go to the dances and make the most of them with your friends and grade one last time, it really will be the best one. Especially get excited for Senior Prom, because it is your last high school dance and your last big event besides graduation as a senior, so make the most of it. It is a really bittersweet feeling. When it comes to supporting your school, go to games and events. Go to them if they are home or away. Trust me- you will be glad you did. Our grade definitely made the most of going to the football games and having Scout pride and it was so fun. I recommend going to all the events you can and making the most of your senior year football games. It is actually fun because now all of the seniors are mainly on the field so you can cheer on your friends and classmates. Some of the most fun games were away games because so many people would go. If you make it fun and put in the effort to go, you will have fun.

As second semester rolls around, the stress level of school decreases tremendously as the school becomes more relaxed and seniors begin to get accepted into colleges. You are going to have a lot more free time so instead of binge-watching a show you’ve seen five times, I recommend spending quality time with your friends and family because in a few months, your life will be completely different and you will cherish the moments you spent with them now. This is one of the only times in your life you have little to no responsibilities. Going off of that, it is important to do spontaneous things with your friends. There is little to no stress second semester; this is the last semester without any real responsibility. Take advantage of this and do things you always wish you could do during the school week. Go to school events, attend sporting events, hang out with your family and friends as much as you can, appreciate your teachers, appreciate walking through the front doors as often as possible, and lastly, make the most of your last year of high school.

Be happy and be proud of yourself when you graduate. You have so much to look forward to this next year.

Good luck class of 2020! Make the most of it!


Logan Hanekamp