A Graduation the Class of 2021 Needs

Written by Kaia Hsu, Editorial editor

As the weather warms up, the 2020-2021 school year comes to an end. The class of 2021 is officially graduating, but it is not a normal graduation. Instead of friends all together, and every member of a family cheering on their graduate, the area will look bare, and friend groups will be split. Due to COVID-19, many schools are changing the way graduation has been done for many years. There are strict social distancing rules, and graduation classes are divided. Although these precautions are necessary, the class of 2021 won’t be receiving the graduation they deserve. 

Many students look forward to their graduation day to reflect on the accomplishments and friends they have made throughout their high school career, however, it won’t be the same for the class of 21’. Most schools are splitting up the senior class or holding their graduation ceremony online. Because half of the class will not be present or everyone will be behind a screen, the graduating class won’t get the time to say a proper goodbye. Oftentimes, graduation is the ideal way to close out a high school career. It is the time for seniors to say their goodbyes to the friends they’ve made, the teachers they learned from, and the school they spent four years walking through. It is a way of closure that the class of 21’ won’t be receiving. 

The feeling of walking down the aisle to receive one’s diploma brings a sense of accomplishment that nothing else can bring. However, this will not be felt by all the seniors this year. Because graduation will be held online for some schools, students won’t get the opportunity to receive their diploma in person. They will be behind a screen watching as their name is called. In movies, the graduating class emits accomplishment and pride, but behind a screen it’s not the same. There is no action of throwing one’s cap and celebrating, there is only students sitting in silence as they watch the ceremony. 

Although the class of 21’ deserves a full in-person graduation, it seems unlikely that it will happen. COVID-19 has resulted in graduations looking bare due to actions to prevent the spread. Inevitably, there has to be less guests and students attending ceremonies to maintain social distancing. These precautions are necessary, but they stop seniors from getting the graduation they deserve. It not only stops the spread of the virus, but it also prevents the feeling of accomplishment and receiving closure for the class of 21’. To acknowledge the seniors, schools could hold their ceremonies in large meeting areas to accommodate social distancing, or they could have time slots that would allow seniors to graduate with their friends. Seniors today deserve to have a full in-person celebration with social distancing rules to acknowledge them for the hard work they have put in through their four years.