As many people know and are patiently awaiting, this week is (virtual) graduation week here in Broward County. Everyone has their caps decorated, their diplomas ready, and their TV's on waiting for their name and picture to be flashed on the screen. Although this was no one's ideal version of a commencement ceremony after 13 years of school and hard work, Coral Glades High School senior class president, Danielle Strong, had a lot to say when it came to her graduation.
1. Where did you graduate from?
"I graduated from Coral Glades High School."
2. What has it been like spending your last semester under quarantine amidst the coronavirus pandemic?
"It has been very stressful to be honest. Sitting in isolation for days and not being able to see my friends and do the staple moments of senior year together and do our last goodbyes was hard to take in mentally, especially because it seemed like most of the adults who were around us were kinda just telling us to forget about it even though they got to experience all of it."
3. Of all the things you missed out on because of quarantine, what has been the hardest to accept?
"Out of all the things I missed out on during quarantine, the hardest one to accept was not getting to walk the stage for graduation, or get to say my speech on stage and flip my tassel with my peers, and one last goodbye."
4. What has been a silver lining?
"A silver lining during this rough time is that this time was kinda like a time for us to think and reflect on life and kind of have a break from the world."
5. What have you done to make up for some of the graduation traditions you aren't able to do?
"Some things I have done to makeup for some graduation traditions is during the virtual graduation ceremony, I had a get together with some people who are important to me."
6. What are your next steps, and have they been impacted by the coronavirus?
"My next steps are to go to college and to attend in the fall. It has been affected by the coronavirus because most schools are doing fall online and no one wants to starts their first year of college online and in front of a screen."
7. What is the worst thing someone can say to a class of 2020 graduate?
"Probably the worst thing someone can say to a 2020 graduate is that what we missed doesn't matter. Yes, everyone has different opinions, but to tell someone who has been waiting for these to spend these staple moments with their friends and make memories for 12 years, and then right when it's near it gets snatched away, it's seems pretty ignorant. They got to experience those things, so they don't know the feeling of missing out on something like that."
8. What is one piece of advice you would love to give to the class of 2021??
"A piece of advice I would give to the class of 2021 is live up your last year and cherish every moment, because high school was the best years of my life and some of the happiest points in my life . So when you go to prom, graduation, and grad bash, live in those moments and just cherish them."
9. What about the last few months in school do you think you'll remember most?
"The last few moments together that I would remember is the times at school with my friends and our games, getting to hangout with my teachers, and after school with my friends about to go to practice."
10. What was your favorite high school memory?
"I have quite a few favorite memories, but probably my favorite was winning districts for flag football as a freshman in high school with one of my closest friends, Kendell Williams, and knowing that we had a big part in that win, along with everyone we got to be apart of the team with that year, and the friends we made."
As the class of 2020 transitions from student to alumni; whether it be from high school to college, or college to the real world, do not let their successes and accomplishments be overshadowed by a pandemic that shook up the entire world. We all wish that this wasn't the ending for any student ever, but the resilience to come from this in each and every graduate will carry on with them through life and make them stronger human beings. Congratulations class of 2020, I wish you all the best!