Clearwater Times editorial by Stephanie Hagenaars

Congrats ‘21 graduates

Congratulations Clearwater graduates, you made it.

Not just finishing high school, which can be a feat in itself sometimes, but graduating during a worldwide pandemic. There’s no question it’s been a tough time for our youth over the past year.

School was disrupted, sports cancelled, social events nixed. Even grad celebrations are not like they used to be, with graduates accepting their diplomas alone on stage with only their parents present and no usual dinner and dance to celebrate the end of their high school angst.

Some might not care and will be happy to put high school and all the drama behind them but to others, grad is a major milestone, a turning point in their lives. It’s a time to celebrate and dress to the nines and have one last bash with their high school friends, some of whom they may have known all their lives.

While students may not have traditional grad memories to look back on, they will be able to look back on memories of a truly unique school year. They have still formed close bonds with their teachers and one another throughout the pandemic and paved the way for future generations. When they’re old and grey they will truly be able to say ‘things were different back in my day.’

It’s unfortunate that many of the usual traditions were not able to be held this year, but Clearwater Secondary School graduates deserve our kudos for a job well done in a time that has been less than ideal. They have shown strength and resilience in a time unlike any other.

It may not be the typical prom but it’s a good send-off before these students hit college, university, the workforce or maybe even a gap year in-between. Bonds of fellowship may fade as people drift away but the memories these grads have made – and will make – this weekend will stick with them. In that respect, some things never change.

So good luck graduates. High School is not the end of life, it’s merely the end of the beginning. We all look forward to seeing what you will become.

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