Letters to Seniors: Rebecca Walter

Letters to Seniors: Rebecca Walter

Dear 2020 TA Panthers,

Well, your senior year has certainly been one for the history books. I miss, each day, seeing your smiling faces, and I know my own sense of loss pales in comparison to what you are feeling. There is nothing more entertaining than convincing seniors to fight through their own senioritis, and the class of 2020 would definitely have given us all a run for our money! I will never forget you all, or your senior year, even though (and perhaps especially because) it looks different than any other classes’ ever before. 

One of my favorite parts of my job, and of our community at TA, is that I get the chance to see each of you grow from kids into young adults. Meeting you in 7th or 9th grade, and seeing you learn about yourself over the years–your talents, your interests, your superpowers– is such a joy. By the time you’re poised to leave us, you’ve decided on some really important things, and you have all done an incredible job deciding on the next steps toward your future.

It can be tempting to think of high school graduation as an end, and in a sense, it is. But it is also an amazing beginning, and you will come to know that life is a series of these milestones. A chapter closes, and another opens. 

It can also be tempting to think, having achieved this milestone of completing high school, that you know it all. But the world is vast and a whole lifetime of experience stretches before you. Approach your next chapter, whatever it is, with an open mind and a curious heart; you have no way of imagining, right now, all of the things you still get to explore and discover in life.

I would be remiss if I didn’t address the loss I know that each of you are feeling right now; a pandemic has stolen your thunder, and it is not fair. I know you are missing your friends, and all the milestones that come with being a senior. I am sorry that things have played out this way, and I continue to be impressed by your resilience, bravery, and flexibility to adapt to the reality that is our strange new world.  

As you prepare to leave us at TA, know that you are always welcome to come home. We can’t wait to hear about everything you accomplish in the future.

It has been delightful to share in the past several years of your lives, and I thank you all for the gifts you have shared with our TA community.

Rebecca Walter

Fairbanks High School

Class of 2001