Hats Off to the Gritty Graduating Class of 2021!

By Gwyn Lurie   |   June 2, 2021

They say the most important quality a student can have is “grit.” You want grit? I’ll show you grit — the class of 2021 began its freshman year with the onset of the Thomas Fire, which turned into the subsequent Montecito debris flow causing hundreds of students and their families to evacuate their homes — some for months at a time. Homes were lost. Friends were lost. But life, for most of us, went on.

And if they thought their freshman year was exciting, their junior and senior years proved a formidable match bringing an unprecedented pandemic that forced students home to learn, depriving them of so many of the social and extra-curricular rites of passage that should have been theirs. And let’s not forget a mind-spinning political environment with a national racial reckoning on top.  I need to nap just thinking about the Class of 2021’s high school years.

One of my favorite quotes comes from an unknown source, but I think about it a lot and I always hope that it’s true: “the most interesting lives are ones that make sense in retrospect.”

The marks left by these topsy- turvy years may not yet be clear, but my money is on a generation of young people who know how to soldier on through adversity, who understand that it’s not that you meet with obstacles, but how you overcome them that matters. A generation that doesn’t take things for granted, has great empathy for the plight of others and feels a profound responsibility to take care of this earth. Young people who will have a real story to tell about their years of living dangerously.

Here’s to the Class of 2021: To your amazing spirit. To your unstoppable energy. To your patience. Your adaptability. To your resilience. And yes, here’s to your Grit.

Congratulations on this most important achievement; and know that we will be here, rooting for you as you journey on through what will be, if that past is any indication, a most interesting and exciting future!


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