Graduation is on everyone’s minds these days. With this school year nearing its end, and the pandemic in full force, I wonder: Will my high school senior walk across the stage, accept his diploma, shake hands with the principal, and sit shoulder to shoulder with his fellow graduates?
Not a chance.
My son’s class is scheduled to graduate on June 25, and there are several graduation plans in place. As a parent, I can hold hope that he will attend some sort of ceremony as initially planned. However, it seems highly unlikely that New York State will allow 600 people to gather in one place by the end of June. – even if everyone wore masks, kept their hands to themselves, and somehow managed an appropriate amount of social distancing.
On the bright side, schools are trying to come up with clever alternatives to the traditional commencement ceremony such as holding graduation at drive-in movie theaters, in-person individual graduations live-streamed to families, and virtual graduations. I think many students just want to put closure on their senior year, say good-bye to classmates and friends one last time, and look ahead to attending college, launching a career, or joining the military.
The class of 2020 is special in many ways. They were born in the shadow of 9/11 and grew up during the Great Recession and the global financial crisis. Yet they carry the promise of a better future. I hold hope that our kids can learn to accept, adjust, and adapt. As Bruce Lee said, they will need to “be like water.”