An Interesting End to High School

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An Interesting End to High School

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Everyone wonders what their senior year of high school will be like. After three years of studying and planning for college, students look forward to a relaxed final year typically filled with senior trips, dances, movie nights, and graduation. Though I was lucky to have a few normal months, once March 13th passed everything changed. We were told that it was only supposed to be two weeks but then two weeks turned into 3 months, which meant no Prom, senior trip, or movie night. Obviously, missing these is not terrible compared to the tragedies that have happened, but it is still sad to miss out on these traditions.

Many high schools decided to hold virtual graduations, so at least they would have some type of ceremony. Since my high school class was so small, my school was able to hold a small socially distanced graduation outside. Some precautions they took were placing six feet apart, everyone had to wear a mask, and each student were only allowed to have two guests. They also hosted it in the middle of the summer since cases in my community had decreased so significantly. This was not going to be a regular graduation, but it was better than nothing. It was scorching on the morning of July 29, 2020 when we all sat outside in our bright blue caps and gowns. Everyone was sweating crazy, but nobody complained because it was better than the alternative of a virtual graduation. I went to a Catholic school, so there was usually a mass before the ceremony, but they wanted us to be congregated for the least amount of time as possible. The school decided to include music usually sung in church, so that they could include some form of the faith into the ceremony. Besides that one detail, almost everything else was the same as past graduations. We had graduation speeches from teachers and students who always included “I understand that this hasn’t been a normal senior year”. That became redundant very quickly. Then they called us up to get our diplomas from the bishop. Instead of shaking hands the bishop decided to fist bump everyone, which I thought was funny because how many people can say they did that. They did it to limit contact even though a handshake and fist bump practically cause an equal amount of exposure. After we all received them, the principle said some final remarks and gave us the go to throw our caps. I remember being extremely nervous because I thought I would lose my cap. I had nothing to worry about though because my throw was pretty lousy. Everyone was cheering so excited that finally we had finished high school. Pictures were taken, but everyone stayed within small friend groups, so that not too many people were in contact. My friends and I then celebrated as we used to every day after school and got coffee. This was not the most exciting end to a crazy four year, but it was enough.
I will forever remember this experience because in the mist of all the chaos, life felt normal again.

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This item was submitted on February 15, 2021 by [anonymous user] using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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