A Letter to the Class of 2021

Dear Class of 2021,

As I reflect on the last few, unconventional months of my senior year, I remember sitting at home, working on virtual homework and thinking, “I would never wish this on anyone or any class ever.” I had always looked forward to the bright and shiny reputation of senior year: Final school dances, themed student sections at games, special senior class activities, and rounding out all of these memories with a final walk to receive our diploma. But, what we never saw coming was being a class that would be a part of history. Now, you are too. 

What you may be missing the most is normalcy, even just in the little things. A normal class period, a normal sports practice, normal FFA activities, even just a normal lunch time. Everything you had ever imagined about your senior year feels like it’s been thrown out the window. Knowing all this, I could tell you it’s going to be okay, but I wish someone would’ve told me that it’s okay to be disappointed. 

It’s okay to be sad. Just don’t stay there.

This year may feel like you’re walking down a hallway of closed doors and missed opportunities. It may be nothing like you imagined. But, as hard as it is to see, find the good in every day.

If you take away nothing else from this letter, at least take this: don’t take this year for granted

I’ve been there. My whole team has been there. Senior year is hard enough with college decisions, scholarship applications, ACT & SAT testing, and on top of it all… actual classwork. Additionally, your class is experiencing these things in the midst of a global pandemic. But, don’t let the potential of this year pass you by. My biggest regret was spending months in negativity, bitter about a situation that I had no control over.

What I challenge you to think about is, in 30 years, what do you want to remember about your senior year?

Shirley MacLaine once said, “Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power.” Whether this year is different or not, do you want to look back at it and just remember the negative things? Do you want to look back and not remember anything good about the year? Or are you going to make the best out of it, make memories in the ways you can, and have a memorable and cherishable senior year? The choice is yours.

You’re never going to know what’s going to happen in the future, so live in every moment and make as many memories as you possibly can. Dress up for spirit week, go to games, hang out with friends, cherish time with your favorite teachers, engage in your favorite activities (even if they’re virtual). Seize every day with no regrets. 

My wish for you is that you get to your last day of school and are able to walk away with your heart full, knowing you couldn’t have made your final year any better. At the end, hug your friends, say your last goodbyes, and spread positivity as you move forward towards the next chapter in your life.

You have an incredible and unlimited potential that you have control over. I believe in every single one of you and I know that you will choose to make the best out of this year. 

Abby Johnson

About Abby Johnson

Hometown: Salina, Kansas Parents: David and Peggy Johnson Chapter: Southeast of Saline FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE): Specialty Animal Production and a Diversified Ag Placement Highest Chapter & or District Office: North Central District FFA President College: Kansas State University Year: Freshman Major: Agricultural Education High School or College Activities: National Honor Society, Band and Choir, Student Council, SES Madrigal Singers, Varsity Volleyball Teammate, Member of SES Track and Field Career Goal: Obtain a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education to become an Ag educator and FFA advisor at a small-town high school in Kansas or a neighboring state. “In FFA, I have been fortunate to make so many genuine relationships with others. No matter what leadership position I have served in, I have found a way to connect with others and help them find what they excel at,” Johnson said. “This action I have taken has brought about positive change. FFA has uncovered my desire to help members, especially those that are shy or overlooked, grow into leaders that no one expected them to become. I believe that every member in Kansas FFA has a leader inside them. As a Kansas FFA Officer, I hope to create meaningful relationships with members from across our state and help them succeed by uncovering their passion through action.”