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Dear Graduates

This fucking sucks.

I look forward to seeing everyone post their graduation photos each year because it reminds me that even though I did not get to graduate, there are millions of kids who got the opportunities in my place. I know it sounds weird, but it makes me feel good to know that there are people out there who understand my struggle and have succeeded where I did not.

It inspires me to see people graduating, to watch them grow as they move from one experience to another, and I enjoy celebrating with people when the day is done and the accomplishment acknowledged. I enjoy Graduation season a lot.

This year’s graduation season is a lot different than years of past, because this year the graduates are facing a global pandemic, many of whom will be called after years of study to fight on the front lines.

Rather than graduation ceremonies they will receive the chance to work in an Emergency Room somewhere in the world, where they will 100% be exposed to the same virus trying to wipe out half the planet.

I am proud of you.

You’ll hear those words a lot over the next few months, you’ll hear them and you will say them as you look in the mirror to remind yourself that you fucking did it. You graduated.

You have become in the moment you understand what that means, an entirely new person. You have skills and talents that you have been studying and learning to hone for years. You are a gifted human being who is going to go out into the world and change it for hopefully the better.

You are the next generation of people that will lead all of us into the following generation, you are the new and the now and I am fucking proud of you.

Congratulations.

I am sorry that you won’t be able to receive your diploma on a stage in front of your friends and family and the people who said you couldn’t do it. I am sorry you won’t get to have that big end of the year party, and celebrate with your friends and even your enemies, both of whom pushed you to be the best version of yourself.

I am sorry that your plans have changed and that the world has chosen to show it’s ugly side during what should be the happiest times in your life and I hope you find peace in knowing that you have the power to change the outcome.

I am not talking about staying home this time – I am talking about what happens after the quarantine is over, I am talking about remembering that your new job is to change the world, to mould it in a way that sucks a little less for the next generation.

I hope you realize that the power you have been given isn’t diminished by this pandemic, the majick is in knowing that this time of rest for some of us, is about preparing us for what is to come.

To the future Doctors, Nurses, NHS Workers, I thank you. You won’t have a graduation, you’ll have an emergency room, and patients that are depending on you to save their lives. You are in the middle of the war zone, thrust into the firey depths of a virus the entire world is trying to fight.

Thank you.

Thank you for your years of study, thank you for all the missed parties and moments, thank yo for all the overwhelming feelings of “I can’t do this” and “I’ll never be good enough”‘s, thank you for all the times you almost maybe gave up but chose at the last second to keep going.

Thank you.

To the future of this generation, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, for everything you sacrificed so you could graduate I am grateful for you and I hope you will continue to post your pictures and share the stories of your struggle because they lift the rest of us up and we are inspired by you.

Congratulations on your graduation, when it’s time party like its 1999 and have the best time of your life.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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