“Come on, we’re going to be late.”
My mother repeated for the millionth time.
We were headed to one of her friend’s son’s graduation.
I didn’t think he’d mind if we were late after all, it wasn’t like we were family.
But we piled into the car and headed towards the Infinite Energy Center nevertheless.
Up until this point I had only seen small graduations as I had attended a small Islamic school in a shopping plaza. This graduation was being held in the same place that Demi Lovato concerts were held. So I was a little anxious about going.
Once we arrived my mother’s friend handed us our tickets. It felt surreal to think one day I might have tickets to pass out, to have people cheering my success and accomplishments. We took our seats and waited for his name to be called. Name after name was called until his was said and we cheered and hollered. I doubted he could hear us but that didn’t keep us from enjoying his success too.
This year I was robbed of this opportunity. COVID-19 took all my “first lasts”. There was no Senior Breakfast. No epic Senior prank wars. No Senior spirit week. No Senior skip day. No Prom. No Senior Night for those of us that played spring sports. But most of all no graduation. No final goodbye after years and years of critical thinking prompts and standardized testing.
Corona Virus has forced a class of students to seize the moment. We’re never guaranteed tomorrow, so we have to make use of today.
My heart hurts as I think of all the ways I could have said goodbye to my teachers, classmates, and friends.
Sometimes I imagine a year where “outside” is open and everything went as planned. But we plan and our Creator plans. I may never understand the meaning of this loss, but I do know that everything happens for a reason. And the class of 2020 will forever be remembered as the ones who finished strong.
Tariqah is a member of the class of 2020. She plans to major in prelaw and loves writing, reading, soccer, and basketball.
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