The graduating class of 2021 will have some challenges. COVID-19 is changing and challenging past traditions, traditions of celebrating a milestone with friends and family, dressing up in a cap and gown, getting to walk across the stage in front of your family and fellow graduates, and dancing the night away in gowns and suits.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the provincial health order, the school is not able to have any gatherings larger than 50, with the most recent health order on November 13, people are told to only be with immediate family members. The school has to follow what the provincial health order is at all times, including special events.  This poses a challenge for Grad committee members, G-21, and teacher sponsor Ms. Raquel Chin. “We’re building these cohorts and this hybrid style of learning, but in addition to that, when it comes to a social gathering and a sporting event, the school must abide by those guidelines, in order to keep people safe,” said Chin.

Ms. Chin and the students on the G21 committee are choosing to maintain a positive outlook over this year’s challenges so far. “It is very easy for our mindset to go to the place where were saying ‘Oh we’re missing this’ or ‘Oh we’re losing this’; it can be quite negative if we choose to look at things that way… My challenge to the grad group of 2021 is to instead think of different traditions we can create… it does not mean we have to lose our sense of identity or culture within the school,” said Chin. The grad committee has already tested this new mindset of positivity on the week of November 9 – 13 with ‘All things Grad Week.’ Monday was Mathletes vs. Athletes, Tuesday was dress to impress, Thursday was Western day, and Friday was ‘wear your spirit color’ day (green for 12’s).

Grad committee members acknowledge that with COVID-19, it will be a challenge to make this year’s grad festivities memorable. “It was definitely hard, when we first started G21 and beginning the planning for the year’s activities,” said G-21 member Carly Traub. The new guidelines and limits to what students were allowed to create and plan for the grad class of 2021 was initially discouraging. “I think the first day a lot of people kind of felt the difference that this year was going to be just knowing what our perimeters were, but it’s been really cool to see over these last two months how everyone’s attitudes has changed, and how exciting the things that we are doing will be, and even though we know things are going to be different… we’re already building relationships within G21,” said Traub.

Another positive change we may continue to see as we move forward into the school year is the appreciation and value of  the little moments and memories that can still be created during this time. Indeed, this is an interesting and challenging time to celebrate 12 years of school and to step out onto the world stage and shine. But G-21 has chosen to be positive and create as many fun traditions and memories as possible!