“Alexa, play ‘Pomp and Circumstance’”

Published 8:58 pm Friday, June 26, 2020

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Re: “Editorial: The Class of 2020 is a study in perseverance” (June 10, Virginian-Pilot). While the Virginian-Pilot goes into detail into the current situation among many high-school graduates, it does not elaborate on the overall hardships undertaken by each student individually.

As a mother of a high school graduate and one senior middle school student, I have seen the problems and complications that may arise with such an abrupt switch to their standards of learning routine. With the change to online learning, my child has felt less personal experience or wholistic interaction with her classmates and teachers. Also, there has been a more significant challenge to communicate with administrators, as they are equally stressed and overtasked.

The editorial mentions, “They [The class of 2020] have had to do without most of the events and occasions that make the last semester of high school special”; however, this goes far deeper than just this statement. Many students no longer have the luxury of walking down to their counselor’s office to ask for a transcript or to run down to the main office to update their registration. Instead, students must send countless time-sensitive emails, with the hope that it will not get lost in the pile of administrative updates, questions asked by equally confused teachers, and emails from students in other grade levels.

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As the old saying recalls, ‘when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.’ Based on this phrase, I have seen many of the 2020 graduates make the best out of the situation given. On one side, many have learned skills to prepare for their future, whether that focuses on home economics, financial literacy or even meditation and the fine arts. Likewise, these hardworking students have used this time to find “essential” jobs, apply for more scholarships, and, most importantly, gain earnings and become closer to financial independence.

While it is crucial to practice social distancing and help the community restore its health, it is also imperative to feel empathy for the young adults who cannot participate in such necessary and lifelong memories. Moreover, I applaud and congratulate the class of 2020 for their determination, their courage, and their strength during these troubling times. My pride and admiration extend to them for their resilience in this time of turmoil, and I am convinced that they will have an intelligent edge in their future endeavors.

Jasmin Heerah