The last, first day of school photographs are now a Facebook memory. Final exams are done. The graduation caps and gowns are crumpled on the floor, no longer needed for that photo perfect finish. …
The last, first day of school photographs are now a Facebook memory. Final exams are done. The graduation caps and gowns are crumpled on the floor, no longer needed for that photo perfect finish.
The class of 2021 has graduated.
This class might deserve more than a hardy congrats. This class didn’t cross a traditional finish line, this class survived.
Across the nation the class of 2021 kicked off the intro to their senior year, that last day of school in May 2020, the moment they officially became kings of the campus, huddled in their homes, fearing the worst as the coronavirus spread.
Summer was a bummer as trips and senior outings were cancelled. The ritual of clicking senior photos became a chore and, in some places, impossible.
For athletes, the upcoming season was largely a question mark. Could they play? How would they play? For those relying on athletic scholarships to fuel their college dreams, much of the future was put on hold as university officials waited and held their breath.
Much of the landscape of senior year was marred by the pandemic. Pep rallies were quieted. Homecoming was cancelled. Students, parents and staff tiptoed around the limitations set by the virus in an effort to maintain a sense of normality.
This week in Baldwin County, thousands of students donned those caps and gowns and seized one of the most normal moments of their senior year, they graduated, side by side.
When you see a graduate this week, be proud of them. When you say congratulations, mean it. They didn’t just finish a course of study, they finished a year that no modern human knew how to navigate. There was fear, anxiety, confusion and disappointment. Their senior year was nothing that they would ever have imagined.
And despite the obstacles, they thrived.
Congratulations to the Class of 2021. We are so proud.