Dear Class of 2020,

You began the year with delightful excitement. This was going to be the best one yet. You decided to shake off every bad experience from your high school years and grab onto all the new possibilities that lay ahead. Your final year of high school would be marked with fun activities and events that would create precious memories to last you a lifetime.

Sadly, all your carefully curated plans have spun out of control with the announcement of the first positive COVID19 case in South Africa. Life as we knew it changed in the blink of an eye and nothing about the future seems to be anywhere near certain.

Now, every time you return home from school, you drop your schoolbag on your bed and hesitantly peek into the black dress bag hanging behind your bedroom door. As you slide the zipper down it reveals a subtle sparkle of rose gold shimmers dancing all the way down to the hem of a gown fit for a princess. Your heart starts beating a little faster as daydreams built up over years start twirling in your eyes. But, suddenly reality hits you in the gut of your stomach and a mask is pulled over it all.

The truth is that the year 2020 will never be the same as the years before. You most likely will not be able to wear that princess gown to a magical night with your prince charming. You might not be able to celebrate a special matric farewell with all your classmates. This leaves me to ask the question: “What is the alternative?”

I believe that every girl has two major fashion milestones in her life. The first being her matric dance and the second her wedding day. Her matric dance is like a colorful dress rehearsal for a hopeful wedding day that winks at her somewhere from the future. So, let’s not waist it.

Class of 2020 I challenge you to take charge of the present and create a bit of magic for yourself. You deserve to be acknowledge and not overlooked. You deserve a youthful cinderella moment filled with lots of joyful sparkle and fluttering butterflies.

Unzip that black dress bag and let the rose gold sparkles have their night of dancing under a starlight sky, even if that sky is situated above your backyard. Get your hair, nails and makeup done. Ask your family to dress up for the occasion and have some beautiful pictures taken with a special photoshoot. Fill the garden with hundreds of fairy lights, candles and some music to get the party going.

Having a farewell night is all about celebrating you. Do not let the chance pass you by, just because your reality has changed so drastically. Embrace every breath of life and create your own kind of magic with a princess gown, loads of sparkle and a personal touch on memories that will last forever.

Class of 2020, you will not be overlooked nor forgotten. You can still shine and even shed a hopeful light on those around you. Be a beacon for unbroken spirits and blaze a new future with a grand, but intimate farewell to your final year.

Photo Credit: Aqueelah – (High School Upington)

Photographer: Elrieta Crous Fotografie

Dress: Rose – by Scarlett Fashion – stocked by Maritz Bridal and Eveningwear

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