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The Class of 2020

Graduation. A time of reflection, happiness, and celebration. This year was supposed to be filled with festivity and joy for the current Class of 2020. But just like all other plans and events, graduation for students all across the globe has been drastically modified due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Despite the fact that a normal graduation isn’t possible, schools have come up with unique and safe ways for graduating students to celebrate their memories and achievements. 

As a graduation coordinator at my own school, UTS, located in Toronto, I have been coming up with ways to celebrate our graduating class along with the rest of my committee. This includes the execution of a virtual event, hosted by our Student Council, creating a staff and admin congratulatory video, and collecting farewell messages for each graduate from their friends and peers.  All of these initiatives are carrying out in lieu of a traditional ceremony, which has been rescheduled to the fall, in hopes of the ability to congregate with the entire graduating community when large group events become permissible.

Other schools across the country are also implementing similar initiatives to allow their graduating classes to have a memorable day. Take Amherst Regional High School for example, which is located in Amherst, Nova Scotia. The social distancing measures have been more relaxed in the province, allowing for the school to conduct a smaller graduation ceremony with a limited number of attendees, giving graduates a chance to have their star moment and walk across their school stage receiving their certificates and capturing some memories. According to one of our R2AC members, Rajan Minocha-McKenney, who attends this high school, the ceremony will also be broadcasted for all members of the school community to watch, and graduates have also put graduating signs on their front lawns. 

Celebrities and public figures have also pitched in their time and advice to congratulate and celebrate the Class of 2020. On July 7th at 12 pm, a virtual graduation celebration, entitled “Dear Class of 2020” includes speeches, performances, and appearances from a wide variety of people, including Michelle and Barack Obama, Malala Yousafzai, Beyonce, BTS, Katy Perry, Camilla Cabello, Lana Condor, Hasan Minhaj, and many more!

To the class of 2020 : You might not be able to properly celebrate your final moments of high school. But one thing for sure - the unique initiatives and grad ceremonies being planned for you during this pandemic will be one for the History books!

Contributors : Asima Hudani, Rajan Minocha-McKenney, Edie Whittington