This year, 2020, is a year none of us are likely to ever forget, especially those who are graduating from high school or university.
Those who are graduating should be able to celebrate with their classmates as they mark their milestone achievement, and set out on the journey of their lives.
Instead, the COVID-19 pandemic is virtually forcing all grads to the solo route, and they must stand alone and think about where they’ve come from as well as what path to choose in front of them.
In many ways, each graduate has their own journey in front of them, and it is their choice which path to begin on, whether towards a career, a family life, working for a time or further education. Before that journey begins, most grads up until now have had the opportunity to mark this achievement together with their friends and family.
The Class of 2020 was robbed, in every town and city and every high school, college and university, and it’s because of the coronavirus, the same agent that shut down whole societies and the economy of every country around the world.
As most areas of Canada and Saskatchewan are beginning to come back to some sort of normal life and activity, the graduation ceremonies are mostly still considered too large to be safe, particularly for a school like the Weyburn Comprehensive with a grad class of 170 students.
Even though the celebrations will be much smaller than hoped for, graduates can still mark their milestone with their family and closest friends, and as they do so, they should think about everything they did to reach this point.
They should also consider all of the people who helped them reach the end, and the parts they played as mentors, guides, teachers, parents and friends.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has taken much from them, and from everyone, grads would do well to learn some valuable lessons from this experience.
Consider the words of Sandra LaRose, who lost her daughter Kailynn before she was able to celebrate her graduation last year. She pointed out that grads have had to learn lessons like not taking anything for granted, and there are valuable life lessons they could be taking away from this time in the world’s history.
With the lockdown and loss of jobs, and loss of opportunities to be with friends and family during this pandemic, grads have had to learn such things as resilience, patience and empathy, and they’ve learned that sometimes they have to put others first.
These are lessons that will prove to be valuable in the months and years ahead. Whatever route you take, remember there are loved ones who are behind you and are supporting your endeavours all the way.