“By facing our challenges and overcoming them, we grow stronger, wiser and more compassionate.” – John Templeton
Sir John Templeton was a businessman, a philanthropist and was deeply religious. He was an optimist, a believer in progress and a relentless questioner. And for that, he was hugely successful and lived a fulfilling life.
You have now faced what is probably one of the BIGGEST challenges in your life – COVID 19.
I know that your world has been turned upside down. What was to be your final year of high school was brought to an abrupt halt. Prom was cancelled. Athletics brought to an end too soon. Testing for college applications cancelled. And most importantly, one of the biggest days of your life, high school graduation, will not take place.
Through this, many of you may have felt ill-equipped to handle a sudden shift to online learning. You may have experienced a sense of isolation and frustration. Most definitely you missed your friends and family members. And, I’m sure you’ve heard incredibly sad stories about loss and despair. But because you’ve now been through this life altering situation, you are better suited to face life with strength, wisdom and compassion.
Disappointment hurts. I ask that you accept how it feels and let it hurt for a while. Then refocus and start planning for your future. It’s here. It’s now. There is a great big world out there waiting on you to join it. I know, without a doubt, that our school system and its incredible teachers have prepared you to do great things. Whether you move directly into the workforce, go to a two-year community college or jump right into a four-year college, you are going to make your Opelika community proud.
I wish you all the best. God bless you and your family.