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Celebrating the Class of COVID-19

Deanna Mayfield
Kayla Jordan and Anna Lucia Sanchez, marketing majors, getting ready for graduation this spring.

COVID-19 had an impact on the entire world. One of those groups affected was the class of 2020 high school graduates. Despite schools trying to provide a memorable graduation amongst the chaos and challenging circumstances, these students are ready for the real deal.

“It was disappointing, especially since I was under the impression I would be giving a speech… Personally, the idea is exciting, but I don’t think I’ve processed how big of a deal a graduation ceremony is because I never experienced one before as the student,” said Ainsley Fischman, advertising major at the University of Georgia.

As we approach spring, that COVID-19 class is coming up on their first official graduation ceremony. These students deserve recognition for finally having an opportunity for a lifelong memory.

“A ceremony holds immense significance for me as it provides a crucial sense of closure and fulfillment. It allows me the opportunity to reflect on my experiences and eagerly anticipate what the future holds,” said Sandy Terry, management information systems major at Georgia College and State University.

Having your accomplishments and hard work recognized can be important for any college student. The class of 2020 finally having the opportunity to celebrate this honor can be emotional. Family and friends of graduates are enthusiastic to watch their person walk across the stage.

“I am excited to be in the stadium, surrounded by friends, family and other students, as we celebrate one another’s accomplishments and revel in the last seconds of our college experience.” – Ainsley Fischman, senior at UGA

Students all over Georgia were disappointed by missing this opportunity and now have a greater appreciation for the ceremony and the marking of the end of a chapter it gives.

“The change from the usual graduation ceremony due to COVID-19 was quite disappointing for me. It was an unusual experience because I’ve always seen graduation ceremonies as important milestones, marking the end of years of hard work and academic achievement,” said Terry.

COVID-19 changed the way everyone was living at the time and brought a great number of deaths. Graduation ceremonies were a minor issue on the larger scale, but it is important to still recognize what the class of 2020 missed.

“Graduating from high school during a lockdown shifted the way I marked significant life events, albeit briefly. Initially, I couldn’t host a graduation party for my loved ones to attend, and I refrained from large gatherings out of concern for the health of vulnerable family members. However, I now find that celebrating life’s milestones has returned to its usual rhythm in my life,” said Terry.

The 2024 college graduation ceremonies for these students and many others will mark a definitive completion of their educational journey. This one holds a great significance to the students who were ripped away from the normal ceremony. Consider celebrating the COVID-19 class becoming the class of 2024.

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Lizzy Gordon, Staff Writer
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