A Letter From a Graduating Senior
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
What a remarkable task we have accomplished! We took on the challenges of COVID-19 and overcame the complications of online classes with stride. God has molded our community to be able to conquer the tasks he set before us, and we have made it out because of his grace and our love for one another. However, this struggle is not over. Due to the unpredictable nature of the virus, there is no way of knowing what the following academic year holds. For some of us, this could mean a tumultuous entry into upper school. For others, this could mean learning to navigate college applications and the SAT in an entirely new way. And for those of us who are unfortunate enough not to have another year at Trinity, this means starting all over in a new environment. All of these transitions in the face of the pandemic bring fear.
When we turn to Scripture to find the answer as to how we should address the fear of change and uncertainty, the word that appears time and time again is courage. Courage is one of the three values upheld by our school, but what does courage really look like in our lives? As my final goodbye to this school, I would like to take the chance to reflect on this value of courage and how being courageous as a student body brings hope for a brighter future.
As a graduating senior in the class of 2020, I have come to know the significance of courage very well. Approaching a teacher to ask for help when you don’t understand a subject? That takes courage! Presenting your senior thesis in front of a panel of experts who know far more than you, and giving it your all? That takes courage! Sending an application to your dream school knowing you might very well be rejected? That takes immense courage! All of these tasks take courage.
But what is courage? I think that Atticus Finch of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird says it best: “It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” There are very few moments in life where success is a given. As Christians, we are continuously faced with this fact when we embark on the task of bringing the world to Christ. Our best efforts to bring the gospel to a culture that is hostile toward Jesus are never guaranteed to be effective. As a matter of fact, we are more likely to be ostracized for our beliefs. The work of discipleship can often be discouraging. But courage is knowing our identity in Jesus and going out into the world to share his love anyway.
Being courageous is never easy, but we are not alone in our struggle for courage. Joshua 1:9 tells us that God walks with us in our journey against fear. He has already won our battles and conquered sin on our behalf. Therefore, because of the assuring love God gives to us, we can joyfully be courageous in the face of issues like the pandemic. In other words, we should have courage because we are armed and loved ferociously by a God who will never leave us.
Now, how does our Trinity community live courageously? For this, I’d like to speak specifically to the younger Trinity students. My greatest advice would be to take every opportunity to be joyful without fear of humiliation or judgment. Go to basketball games and wear fun costumes to support your team. Audition for the play even if you’ve never acted in your life. Take one class that is out of your comfort zone. Love your old friends well, but reach out to those you have never talked to before. Love your teachers, because they really aren’t as scary as you think! Overall, just take the time to experience every facet of life Trinity has to offer. As someone who has had her time at Trinity cut short, I promise that you will regret the time you didn’t put yourself out there. As a student body, we are often very afraid of what others will think of us. That fear stifles us and prevents us from experiencing fully. But the truth is, everybody is so worried about making sure they don’t mess up that they aren’t going to notice the mistakes you are so worried about. However, what they will notice is when you are unashamed of who you are and treat others better as a result.
Courageous people make a difference, so I’ll close with a challenge. In the next academic year, though we don’t yet know how it will look, be courageous. Love others boldly and, above all else, do not fear judgment or uncertainty. You are loved by a mighty God who is bigger than fear. Make us seniors proud of the courageous students you become and the encouraging impact you make on Trinity when we are gone.
Signing off for the very last time,
Zoe Powers ‘20
About the Author
Zoe Powers is a member of Trinity's Class of 2020. During her time at Trinity, Zoe enjoyed theater the most because it gave her a strong sense of community. In the fall, she will attend William & Mary to study biology with a minor in marine science.