This New Yorker is sitting on my kitchen table today. It's reminding me that this is Graduation Day, for University of Texas students. They are graduating virtually, from home.
I can't even imagine how challenging it has been for college seniors these past months.
The stresses of finishing a thesis, or taking exams is difficult anytime. Add in the sudden jolt of being booted from an apartment or dorm, moving back with family... then struggling to finish, with no certainty about jobs or future.
I only know a couple of seniors this year. It was tough knowing what to write in their cards. It would be a lot tougher being the parent of a grad this year. I remember how it felt to watch my kids graduate. I can't imagine missing out on that.
Senior Year of High School
A week ago I watched the virtual graduation special on TV. I wonder how it felt to be a high school senior, watching. The show was about as uplifting as you could hope for. I was glad they kept a positive focus. We didn't need to be reminded of what the kids are missing.
Missing out on a real ceremony is sad, even for the kids who say they don't care.
I've been thinking about those special seniors this year, who are first in their family to graduate from high school. I'm thinking of the valedictorians, eager about giving their speeches. I'm thinking about the kids who had been looking forward to proms or sports banquets or music concerts. Or the kids that just needed closure, after 12 years of school. They had no idea when they started their final semester, what was ahead.
I've spent a few days, thinking a lot about students and graduations. I've thought about my own kids' ceremonies. There were no pandemics interfering and I didn't know to appreciate that.
But today, I allowed myself to stop and recall my own last semester of high school. There was no global crisis, but a change hit my household as suddenly as a virus.In March of 1975, my world turned a little upside down, just like the students in March of 2020. My parents out of the blue, announced they were splitting. Our family crisis came with no warning.
When I look back on how I navigated those next months, I feel like I can relate just a bit, to some of the kids today.
For me, everything had been breezing along beautifully, when suddenly my home had a whole different feel. My plans for college suddenly shifted and the focus was not on Beth's prom or graduation. Our house went on the market and my future was totally uncertain.
The last months of my senior year weren't what I expected, but I made it though. My "home virus" didn't affect anyone besides my family. There was no Twilight Zone World outside the house. No deadly virus, sweeping the nation. All the end of year activities went on as planned and I attended, with a slightly different perspective. I was like all the kids every year, who happen to participate in a celebration, while dealing with loss or crisis of some kind.
Trying to compare my 1975 to the struggles of the 2020 class, is a huge stretch. I won't try to pick which crisis I would have preferred. But I must say, the kids who graduated this year, will always be an amazing bunch. They'll have a bond with 2020 grads from all over the world. What an accomplishment for these young people. Their parents should be extra proud!
I started this complaining list/blog, in May 2016. I posted 200 gripes about my breast cancer and then I was done.
On March 13, 2020, I started venting all over again, when another disease (starting with a C) interfered with my life. Only this time, it was affecting more than me. I ranted for a year, until I got my vaccine in March 2021.
Coronary Artery Disease was the reason I restarted this blog on September 26, 2021. This time it was Don who was dealing with a worry that started with the letter "C".
Coronavirus and Cancer, Coronary Artery Disease! All are evil, but none can totally get me down... if I vent! I usually end up feeling a little more positive at the end of each post!