Jamie Kiel

2020 seniors: history-makers

By Rep. Jamie Kiel

Guest columnist

Calling 2020 memorable is an understatement! Being a member of the class of 2020 will be unforgettable.

The COVID-19 pandemic did to you what it did to our nation: life was put on hold. You missed proms, sporting events, classes – although I’m not sure that “missed” is the correct term here – friends and teachers. Life stopped.

Or did it? You’ve learned a lot over the last two months – lessons that can’t be taught in the classroom. You’ve learned lessons about caring for others by social distancing and staying at home; about the importance of a support group, whether that is the family you are born with or the family that chose you; about who you really are away from school and routine.

You’ve learned to adapt. Your future success will depend largely on your ability to adapt. Change is hard. Forced change is harder. Sometimes you get to choose to change; sometimes coronavirus forces it.

School became different for you compared to anyone else in modern history, with online classes, Zoom, Google Classroom and packets of work.

Some of you became self-starters and worked without someone making you do it. You problemsolved and worked through difficult AP exams and endofyear tests. Some of you discovered you could complete your academics while making an income.

Your willingness to adapt and change in life will often determine how happy you are with your circumstances.

So where do you go from here? It’s your choice.

Make choices … or have them made for you. Choose to change … or be changed.

I know that trying to look into the future 10 or 20 years is next to impossible, but trust me, it is not as far out of sight as you think! You’ve blinked, and high school is over. Blink again, and you’ll be living your life.

Dream BIG! Be a game-changer. Help others and be successful, whatever that looks like in your eyes.

Whatever happens, know that the lessons you’ve learned this year will serve you well from now on.

Congratulations to you for bravely making it through this trying year. You have a lot to look forward to. Don’t let these current circumstances change you. Be the change.


Kiel is a member of the Alabama State House of Representatives and a 1993 graduate of Russellville High School.

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Tony Chard

News

Car show benefit helps raise needed funds

News

Russellville High School varsity cheerleaders attend UCA cheer camp

Franklin County

NWSCC receives $18,000 in grants from Dollar General Literacy Foundation

News

Russellville equine therapy visits library program

News

Steam locomotive delivery to Red Bay delayed, arrives July 1

News

Local author holds book signing at RPL

Franklin County

Former Russellville resident performs ‘Miracle Worker’

News

Presenting: Miss Phil Campbell

Franklin County

All American Tang Soo Do students recognized

News

Russellville High School students sign to pursue fine arts careers

Franklin County

Football Funday, special needs probowl take place June 15

Galleries

PHOTOS: RMS students take the stage for spring sing

News

Russellville member named among finalists for GFWC Jennie Award

East Franklin

East Franklin Junior High celebrates May 21 graduation

Belgreen

Belgreen Class of 2024 celebrates graduation

Franklin County

Local churches plan Vacation Bible School programs

Galleries

PHOTOS: Tharptown High School Wildcats graduate

Galleries

PHOTOS: Phil Campbell High School students graduate

Franklin County

NEMCC announces more than 400 to spring vice president’s list

Franklin County

UNA releases spring dean’s, president’s lists

News

Roxy holds June 15 concert, plans other events

Franklin County

Free summer meal program available at Franklin County Schools

News

PHOTOS: Red Bay High School graduates celebrate

x