Dear Seniors,

First off, let me say, this sucks. This is your senior year, your last year in high school. This was the year for lasts. Your last dance, your last walk through the halls, your last performance, your last high school mission trip, your last tournament. This is the year you should walk across the stage, get your diploma, and celebrate with your friends, family, teachers, and principals.

Your lasts have been cut short, and I’m sure you feel cheated. This is an important time in your life, and now, you are stuck at home not able to do any of it. And that sucks. And it’s okay to be sad and mad right now. I’m giving you that permission. You may feel like you don’t have a right to be sad when people are dying around the world, but it’s okay to hurt and to talk about it. We can’t sit in it forever, but we can admit it and we can feel it. The most important thing is to remember that this won’t last forever even though, right now, it feels like it will.

I’m sorry you’re missing these moments right now. I’m sorry it hurts. I’m sorry this isn’t what you had planned. But I also want to encourage you to take a moment and try to think of ways that you can make an impact.

You may not be in classes anymore, but is there anyone you can reach out to—someone you would only see in class? See how they are doing; see if their family is in need right now. Let them know you still think about them.

Do something to encourage your teachers, like thanking them via email. Teaching online isn’t easy. I have many friends who are teachers, and this is a very stressful and crazy time for them, too. Many of them miss seeing you every day.

Think about neighbors around you and what you could do for them now that your schedule is more flexible. Look for ways you can help your parents out by helping them around the house or with siblings. Working from home isn’t easy, and having their schedules change is stressful, too.

God still calls us to love others as He loves them, and right now, that is something we can do. In the midst of disappointment, you can reach out and sympathize with someone else who also feels like they are missing out. You can build better relationships with the people in your household. You can encourage people even when you can’t see them in person.

We are called to love at all times, so let’s do that. I am not saying you should ignore your pain. I am saying don’t sit in it and let it blind you to serving and loving others. I know I am one of the best at throwing pity parties for myself, but when I do, I tend to forget others. Don’t let this be a time to forget others. Talk about your pain, reach out to people, and figure out how you can make an impact during this time.

Again, I am sorry you are missing out on things you were looking forward to, but let’s not waste this time. Make it fun, unique, and find unexpected ways to love others as God loves us!