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A letter to the Class of 2020 by graduate Carolina Bologna to her fellow seniors

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Dear Class of 2020,

Carolina Bologna receives her senior gift for VolleyballCarolina Bologna

What we are living is not the usual graduation process. We have to see it differently. Remember to see always the bright side of everything.

This is a message for hope in the future and for strength in the present.

Le t’s zo om out for a second and act as we are in the middle of the graduation day, we haven’t been there, but there is no place where our imagination can’t go.

Beckley, West “Fantastic” Virginia. We are in the Armory, everyone in cap and gown, it’s a sunny day, the sun can touch our faces almost as kissing us goodbye.

Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, cousins, grandma and grandpa, my friends, they are all here.

There are also your classmates, the ones that you always have seen in your course but never got the chance to introduce yourself to. There is even that one guy or girl that you always found interesting, but you were too shy to talk to. Teammates, they are all here too, as we were in game day, it would not be the same without them. As I turn around I see professors from every department, I have seen them walking to class every morning. Coaches too, a little sad to say goodbye to their seniors. But It’s time, we have to walk in.

We take our seats in the middle of the arena. We are all sitting and as I look around me, I see many students, each of us has his or her own symbol or decoration on their cap. I can tell the nationalities of some peers because they have their flags on their gown too. It’s amazing.

After everyone finally is ready, we start. I can hear “Country Roads”, this has been the song who brought us together the most. Freshmen year, Tech Events or simply West Virginian events, this song is always home. Here comes the Dean, ready to talk to us, along with Mrs. Long, and the department staff. These are going to be long speeches, but it’s graduation day, and it can’t be it without the long speeches.

Name by name, I see each of us getting ready. As we wait on the right side of the stage I can tell we are nervous, it’s not “just a walk across the stage”. It’s a walk that sums up everything of our past four years.

Every step represents the sacrifices, the late-nights studying, the early mornings to go over the exam material with a huge cup of coffee, our best friend during final week. Every step represents the struggle of a difficult subject, represents the office hours with the professor, the time spent with tutoring or the hours passed on the same book reading the same chapter over and over.

We walked in, four years ago as little kids, freshman.

We are walking out, climbing that stage, with our heads up, ready to face the world and make an impact. These steps represent every change, every improvement, every weakness which became our strength.

As we hear our name, we are ready to take first step toward the end of the most important chapter of our life. It gets better, we are ready to proudly shake hands to everyone standing there with the awareness that we did our best, we became the best version of ourselves thanks to the people who surrounded us this whole time. We look up, we look for our family and friends, they are screaming in the stands. I can see they got emotional too.

Here, the moment we walk down the stage. It really ended.

Here is where YOU, who are reading, will continue this letter, is going to be Your chapter and You are going to write it in the best way possible.

I want to wish each of you the best future that you can have.

It’s a difficult time, but today we are the people who will represent the “tomorrow”.

We have to be the strong humans who will carry the heavy consequences of this period.

We are the people who went through a lot in these past years and nobody else could have done it for us. When someone looks for a point of reference, look in the mirror. Look at yourself and make sure you understand your importance.

Class 2020, we made it, congratulations.

Now, it’s Your time to shine.

We are the future.

Carolina Bologna
Business Management major 
Vasto, Italy