From the Editor: A Letter to the Class of 2020

April 2020

I hope you are healthy and well amid this unprecedented time. To the Class of 2020, I first want to say that I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you unexpectedly lost the last three months of your college experience. I’m sorry that you won’t have the opportunity to go to the spring game, attend your last “real” class, celebrate at senior bar crawl and — most of all — receive the diploma that you worked so diligently to earn at The ‘Shoe.

 

I want you to know that you’re not alone. If you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, if you’re cooped up in your apartment alone and dreading the public places, if you’re back in your hometown but don’t want to be or if you’re struggling to manage your mental health amid growing uncertainty, it’s okay. There are 12,000 other Buckeyes who understand what you’re going through — including me. 

 

While you remain inside and scroll through the old photos and memories on your camera roll, I invite you to pay homage to the Class of 2020 and the memories you’ve made over the past few years as a Buckeye.

 

Think back to when you were #new2osu. What was your first week at Ohio State like? Were you an OWL that moved in 20,000 students in the pouring rain? Were you welcomed to campus by a Scholars Program or Learning Community where you partook in awkward icebreakers? Or were you one of the many that adjusted to college life with your roommates by your side?

 

Once you left the sea of flyers that were endlessly thrown your way at the Involvement Fair, on The Oval on your way to class and in your dorm’s common area, which communities did you end up choosing? Maybe you rushed and found your brothers and sisters or maybe you became an activist for mental health or diversity and inclusion, maybe you were a Buckeye fanatic in Block O (Go Bucks!) or maybe you danced #ForTheKids. 

 

Although your time with these organizations and communities abruptly ended sooner than planned but that doesn’t discount the hundreds of hours you invested in them, the amazing friends you made or the valuable skills you’ll take with you in your next steps.  

 

In addition to involvement, the other big part of college was the education, so think back to your classes — even the 8am that you struggled to go to. Which ones challenged you or paved your path? Did the hours of accounting practice problems build your resilience? Did your first 650-person lecture in Independence Hall teach you how to ask for help? Or maybe your pivotal moment was when you realized you didn’t want to be a doctor in CHEM 1210 (General Chemistry I). 

 

Over 120 credits later and you’re in the final days of your college experience and nearing #BuckeyeForLife status. What was your favorite memory at Ohio State? Was it rushing the field after a Buckeye win? Was it the weekly tradition you have with your friends or roommates? Or was it those perfect Friday afternoons on Oval Beach or in a hammock by Mirror Lake?

 

What is your proudest accomplishment from college? Is it motivating yourself to finish assignments during the weeks of social distancing? Is it learning how to do your laundry and finally becoming an adult, finally reaching the end of senior year and receiving a degree, or maybe a special project that you worked on. In this magazine issue, we highlight several student accomplishments including the dress rental platform launched by seniors, Ruby Xun and Melissa Liang, the stand-up comedic performance that Cal Murata gave to 1,100 people and the cutting-edge prostheses developed by Aaron Westbrook and Form5 Prosthetics. 


I know this was not how any of us were expecting to say goodbye, and although I started this letter with I’m sorry, I want to end by saying thank you to the Class of 2020. Thank you for introducing me to pizza and Buckeye Donuts at 2am. Thank you for showing me the power of 100,000 fans during double overtime against TTUN four years ago. Thank you for giving me a lifelong community at The Ohio State University.

Here’s to Navigating our 20’s,

Priyanka Jain

Editor, Fisher Ink Magazine