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It's time for theannual graduation column. The column that is supposed to be light and funny and leave you with a bit of wisdom to carry with you for the rest of your life.

Between COVID-19, riots, nothing being normal, not being able to see your classmates and having to homeschool at the end of your senior year, tha Class of 2020 definitely has a lot to remember.

The year did not start out well for your class, Many of us in the community will remember this year. It won't be for all the good things that happened, but it will be for all the bad.

I will be honest with you, life is like this sometimes. Sometimes it seems like nothing goes right. It seems like if it can go wrong it will go wrong.

The upside is this. It won't always be like this. You'll be able to look back and say, "the good news is there's only one senior year!"

I hope that the take away this year has been that you shouldn't take anything for granted. The only day you have to worry about is the one that you woke up with this morning.

You can't change yesterday, and there's no way to predict what will happen tomorrow. But you can make right decisions today. You can make today the best day. You can make time today for those best friends. You can make time for those aging relatives that may not be here tomorrow.You can make some thing special happen for someone in your circle of acquaintances today.The future is made up of a lot of todays.

This year has been a good lesson in discovering that life doesn't always go as planned. When that happens, you need to have a Plan B.

Sometimes your Plan B might be just getting through the day. Maybe your Plan B will be trying something that you wouldn't do if you were still doing Plan A.

Most importantly, while your senior year should have been all about you and your class, many of you discovered that It was more about surviving.

Your year ended unlike anything anyone could've ever imagined. Teachers had to scramble to somehow make sure your education continued. Many of you had to discover new venues of online learning. For the first time sports did not take a front seat in your accomplishments, and entertaining and fun activities were put on hold.

You will probably be the only class with a cruise as your Prom.

They say hindsight is 20/20. So here is my wish for you. May the next several years find you saying, "if 2020 hadn't happened the way that it did, I would have never had this opportunity!"

You will find that life is like that many times. You will be able look back and see that the difficulties you faced were used to make you better.

I have no idea how that will apply as you leave for college or move into your career, but know this. There is a huge community of people in this world just waiting to help you along the way. Let them. There are going to be people that cross your path who will need your help, help them.

Life is made up of those moments that seem like nothing to you maybe, but to someone else something you said or did, made the day and maybe the life of someone else change for the better. Be the one that makes that happen for someone else.

Class of 2020, you have been blessed to have grown up in this community or to have finished in this community. Vinton is now part of who you are. Take that piece of Vinton and show it to the world. Drop us a postcard, or at least a text message and let us know how you dazzle the world. We'll be waiting to see this class go out and do some awesome things!

So take 2020, (please take 2020, I think we're all sooo over it) and turn all of the lost memories and bummer-ness and use it as a springboard for what no one else but you can do!

Know this, you have the whole town waiting to see what you'll do! Make us proud! Put this town on the map! We know you'll be great, because you already have been.

Best wishes to each of you, now go or there and make your today the very best that it can be!

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