There has been so many social media posts outlining why 2020 graduates are so sad or why they should be grateful they aren’t graduating only to head to war, but I want all 2020 graduates to look at this another way.
You were just handed the biggest, most valuable lesson of your lives – and maybe you haven’t even noticed it yet.
You see, we were all handed this wisdom over the years. Our great-grandparents that lived though the 1930s told us the stories of their parents losing everything, standing in bread lines, their parents going days without eating so they could eat, how important it was to know how to make our own medicine, grow and preserve our own food, stay out of debt, have a savings account.
And, most of us were to stubborn to listen – to most of it, anyway. We never thought it could happen, but here you are, still under the care of your parents and you’re seeing it’s not only possible, but it HAPPENS. It took 90 years for it to get this bad again and there has been blips of it along the way, but we never thought we’d get here and yet, here is exactly where we find ourselves.
So while you may be sad that you’re missing proms and senior prank day and senior skip day and your friends and the last few months of school with them and walking across the stage to collect your diploma, here’s a few things you will walk away with instead:
That There are “Essential” Jobs & Businesses
Oh, class of 2020, you were just handed a list of jobs that are absolutely essential to human life in the case of total collapse and pandemics. You now have proof that there truly are essential and non-essential jobs and businesses. There are business owners who have spent the last 20 years building their business and in weeks they are on the verge of losing everything they ever built, their employees are jobless. There are, as of this week, 3.4 million new unemployment claims – we went from not enough workers to fill the available positions to a huge percentage of the population being out of work – in just the blink of the eye.
Want to know who is still working?
- Medical Billing
- Medical Transcription
- Government Workers (various kinds)
- Trash Collectors
- Mail and Delivery Services
- Linemen (Power)
- Grocery Stores
- People that blog about homeschooling, homesteading, recipes (like bread)
You get where I am headed with this. Think anything essential to life.
As I write this I am watching the construction workers in the subdivision across the road actively building houses. Homes still need to be built, but in some states they would be shut down until this pandemic passed.
That Debt is Draining & They Were Serious About Savings
Do you know people who are struggling right now? Undoubtedly you do. There are millions of people who aren’t sure how they are going to buy groceries, pay for their housing, keep their cars. It’s very serious and it’s very scary. If this pandemic has taught you anything, class of 2020, your biggest takeaway should be to take that 6 months of expenses in the savings seriously and to minimize your debt so that if something like this ever happens again, you’re prepared.
That Those “Old School” Skill are Valuable
Planting a garden, growing your own food, making medicines from plants in your garden – all skills that use to be a given and were lost with technology and industry. Those skills that we have lost had a purpose, but they were buried with time. I am not saying that you need to learn how to grow and can food or make home made bread, but wow, what a skill in times like these. The problem is that by time many of us realized this was something we should all be doing – well, let’s just say, it’s scary to not know if there will be food on the shelves when you get there and even if there is, some people are finding it difficult to buy it because of finances.
That Family is EVERYTHING
We knew it all along, but somewhere along the way we forgot what it was like to just be together. So many people are reconnecting with their kids. We were all so use to rushing to and from events and school and work and sports and dinner out that we didn’t stop to really connect with each other.
In recent years the movement to unplug, reconnect, travel full time while working remote has been increasing in popularity. This is because people have slowly begun to realize again that family is everything and with this pandemic, it’s been confirmed. So many people are waking up to the reality that we’ve been doing it wrong.
I sincerely hope that the class of 2020 sees the importance of the quote below and actually LIVES it.
That Things Can Change Overnight
There was no time to get that money in the savings, to pay off debt, to get food storage, to have seeds to plant food, to have an “essential” job. We went from people not taking it serious (and even making fun of homesteaders and preppers), to having an emergency declared for a world wide pandemic and lockdowns taking place. It feels like it happened overnight.
Even if you live your entire life and this never happens again, we can say, without a doubt, that there is a chance you’ll be in the same situation as the rest of us one day and you need to be ready for it. Even if you never see the day, passing all you learn onto the next generation positions them to be prepared. Just like our grandparents tried to warn us, you will have the chance to prepare future generations.
You have been given the opportunity and insight you need to put yourself and your family in the best position possible to survive any future pandemic, economic crash or worse and it’s not because you need to live in fear, it’s because you want to live in freedom. That’s exactly what people who listened to their grandparents are doing right now – they are sitting at home with their families and aren’t afraid.
And this is why the class of 2020 might be feeling like you’ve been dealt a crap hand. That it isn’t fair. But, my friend, you have been given an incredible opportunity to launch out of the nest, completely aware that the lessons our ancestors taught us were real – and have an advantage that the classes before you didn’t have – the advantage of understanding how the decisions you make about debt, professions, food and medicine – to name a few – can and will impact you or your family eventually.