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Dear Class of 2024

Dear Class of 2024
Sarah Honan

May is always a time for reflection in the College Counseling Office. We sit with the seniors as they make their final college decisions, reflect back on the highs and lows of the year’s application cycle and look ahead to next year’s class and curriculum. Do we bring in more speakers? Should we spend more time on college research? Did our families prefer virtual events to in person? The list goes on. For seniors, however, it’s a little bit more. It’s looking back on the last four years, on a tremendous rite of passage in their young lives: graduating high school. 

The Class of 2024 is a special one for me because it is the first class that I have walked with all the way from ninth grade onward. We entered Upper School together in the fall of 2020 amidst an international pandemic. We struggled through Zoom waiting rooms, learning PCR and Canvas, and understanding our class schedules together. Over the past four years, I have watched them grow from uncertain, self-conscious ninth graders to confident, purposeful 12th graders with so much passion – for what they do, for the future they will build, and for the friendships and relationships they have fostered here at W+H.

When I first became a mom in the winter of 2019, I quickly found myself switching from my treasured non-fiction and historical fiction tomes to short works of poetry; life would only allow me about 20 minutes of solitude and reflection at a time. One of the poems I read during that time that has always stuck with me is by Rupi Kaur from her collection, Milk and Honey: 

most importantly love
like it’s the only thing you know how
at the end of the day all this
means nothing
this page
where you’re sitting
your degree
your job
the money
nothing even matters
except love and human connection
who you loved
and how deeply you loved them
how you touched the people around you
and how much you gave them 

So I say this now to the Class of 2024, our seniors: you have given us all – your families, your W+H community, and the College Counseling Office so much over the years. From high-fives in the hallway, to heartfelt talks (always with a box of tissues!) in the comfy brown chair in my office, to the way your faces lit up every time you discovered a new college you wanted to apply to or finally finished that college essay. I will carry those moments and memories with me forever. We all will. But remember that your true impact, your legacy in life, is not that final GPA on your transcript or the name on your diploma. It’s the mark you leave on the people around you. Thank you, seniors, for the privilege of sharing these past four years with you. When you walk across that stage on June 14, know that I, and all of us at W+H, are right beside you. Now and always.