Prom and high school graduation are important festivities that young people look forward to long before they happen.
Chances are members of the 2021 graduating class at Edward Milne Community School in Sooke did not envision their grad year looking quite like it has turned out. COVID has turned things upside down, and no one could have foreseen what it’s meant to such landmark occasions.
This year’s grads were probably hoping they’d dodged a bullet with COVID occurring in 2020 and leaving plenty of time for the recovery process for ceremonies to mark the end of their high school days. But it hasn’t quite worked out that way, with vaccination rates just now reaching levels that will make larger public gatherings safe again later in the year.
There won’t be big crowds to watch the grads cross the stage to accept their diplomas. Parents haven’t even been able to witness the awarding of trophies, scholarships and bursaries for the various achievements of the students.
But the grads, their parents and teachers and staff at local secondary schools made the best of it with various impromptu events to mark the culmination of these students’ high school years.
You don’t get these years back, and it’s too bad, but this certainly won’t diminish the students’ achievements, lessen the joy of the experience perhaps somewhat.
But the grads can hold their heads high, and the resilience they’ve needed to get through these past two years will make them stronger as they advance through life and their chosen careers.
And think of the stories they’ll be able to tell their children and grandchildren one day. “I remember back in my high school days, this virus known as COVID infected the world….” That will surely attract a captive audience.