In what is supposed to be their best year on campus – their senior year – the Class of 2020 at Oakdale High School has found that experience turned upside down.
But the class is forging ahead, said Senior Class President Kendra Branch, who added that the Mustangs are grateful to the community.
“I wrote a little something on behalf of the senior class in light of these crazy times ... just to give the community a little perspective about how we are dealing with the craziness right now,” Branch said. “This town has really rallied around the seniors trying to give us the year that they want us to have, and it means the world to us.”
Following is the piece that Branch wrote, which the seniors wanted to share with readers.
“As a pandemic goes, it is to no surprise that everyone’s lives have been affected. So, whether you are home from college, ended a chapter of your life too soon, are unable to work, or just plain stuck at home ... you have felt the effects of the big Rona. In a town like Oakdale, it is not hard to see the impact people can have on each other. People are helping their neighbors, sending cards, sending food, sending prayers, and just trying to do what they can for who they can. It goes to show what a little love can do. So, as seniors, when we should be making memories that will last a lifetime like playing in our last home game, planning senior ditch day, senior sunset, the grad trip to Disneyland, asking that girl to Prom, and spending the last moments of our childhood with our friends and people we have grown up with ... we are learning about life in a way that many classes before us did not.
“We have seen just how fast life can stop and change, how life can be unfair but at the same time it’s not about us, how the important thing is life itself and the people we love, not the daily stresses that are not all that important in the big picture. So, we are uniquely equipped to face whatever life has to offer. We have learned that when life throws you a curveball, you learn from it and adjust for the next pitch, because that is all you can do. The fact that we are worried about losing Prom and Disneyland shows us just how blessed we are and that we are going to be just fine. We have learned not to take the little things for granted ... like complaining about finals, the teachers we don't like, and sitting in class for hours. Because the truth is, we want it ... we want to live our high school experiences. So while we have talked about the day we would graduate and wanted it to come, now all we want to do is turn back time. But now it is time to say goodbye. So thank you, to this town and the people in it that made the last four years of our lives what they were.
“There’s nothing like a Friday night in the Corral, there’s nothing else like Oakdale. So, from the Class of 2020, thank you and we won’t disappoint; we are ready to enter the world as the people that Oakdale High School and this town have taught us to be.”