Class of 2021

For My Fellow Graduates


Taylor Burnham


We were one year away from a perfect, even number, 

but maybe that’s okay 

because this year was certainly an odd one. 

And maybe that’s okay 

because we don’t want our legacies littered 

with connotations of the previous one. 

But we were the class that truly experienced a virus’ trials: 


We were the class where computers shifted 

from the platform we would use to search  

homework answers to our full-time classroom. 


We were the class confined to our homes, 

confined to six feet worth of distance between our peers. 


We were the class that had four first days of school, 

each one characterized by an uncertainty of what will come next. 


We were the class isolated from our teachers and friends, 

the class facing “unprecedented times.” 


We missed out on the true celebratory lore. 


We were the class that deemed lockers obsolete 

and carried our backpacks to each class like they do in the movies. 


We were the class exposed to differing opinions 

and toxic debates that could tear people apart.


We were the class that learned to fight for ourselves 

and stand up for what we believe in, despite retaliation. 


We found our voices in a society set on muting our perspectives. 


We were the class defined by the tragedies of a world 

plagued by a pandemic. 


And we survived it. 


We struggled, adapted, and persevered; 

we never let new obstacles heed our passion, 

and we learned to accommodate to our permanent situation. 


We cried, grew, and celebrated; 

we developed into the resilient individuals we are today, 

and we take pride in that accomplishment. 


Let us not remember the circumstances that brought us down, 

but rather what carried us to this moment. 

Remember the adversity we have faced. 

Remember that we faced it and succeeded. 

Remember that by prevailing through the most challenging year of our academic lives, 

we proved that we can do anything. 


Class of 2021: 

I know you will all flourish in your upcoming endeavors, 

whatever they may be. 

Take the lessons you learned from the past four years 

and allow our class to serve as a beacon for the future’s inspiring possibilities. 


Next stop, anywhere.