Dear Class of 2020,

You were the first thing I thought of when I heard Governor Baker deliver the news today. I can't begin to tell you how bad we feel for you. I'm not going to lie, the days and months leading up to graduation are some of the most memorable of your lives. While these days will certainly be memorable, it will be for different reasons.

This was not how this was supposed to be. A long time ago, when your parents did the math and figured out that you'd be the Class of 2020, you were supposed to be the cool class, a fun milestone. Then, this.

I think about the student-athletes who eagerly await for the spring to arrive each year. The lacrosse sticks are ready to go. Baseballs sit uncomfortably inside leather gloves that are longing to be taken out for a catch, and tumbleweeds are blowing across the high school tracks across the Commonwealth.

To the would-be valedictorian, I'm certain that your schools will figure out a way to have some sort of a commencement. You've worked so hard since your freshman year. This was supposed to be your moment to shine, and you will. Regardless, the work ethic that earned you the title will propel you for the rest of your life with or without a speech.

Proms will be missed this year, but I'm here to tell you right now that if you guys have interest in a "second chance" prom next year, Gazelle and I will be there to DJ it.

It probably feels like your world has changed forever. You'll even hear some adults say that. I would tend to disagree with that sentiment. September 11th was clearly an event that changed the United States. It's hard to believe that we used to just waltz into a Patriots games or a concert without walking through metal detectors and being searched. Did that change? Sure, but the games went on, and fans showed up ready to cheer. There was a slight shift in how we entered the building, but the important things were still there.

As we navigate through this extraordinary time, the best thing you can do is to look at it as an opportunity. It's an opportunity to take the time and connect more with your family. Many of you may be going away to school this fall. Believe it or not, you're most likely going to miss most of those people you are "stuck" at home with right now.

Take the extra time you have to dive deeper into things that truly interest you. Do you like making videos on your iPhone? You should see how far you can take that this spring and summer. Take your video production to the next level. It might spark a new interest that you could continue to enjoy over the next few years, or even a lifetime.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, this will not be the last time life deals you a kick to the shins. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back at it. A crisis like this defines people. Be the person that rises to the occasion. It will serve you well in life.

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