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By Mountain View Studio
Reflections on Starting Your Next Chapter During a Pandemic
What should be an exciting time in the Amorebieta household has been fraught with bittersweet reactions and uncertainty. Our middle daughter, Lukenna, is set to graduate from high school this spring, but like many kids, she hasn’t had the chance to walk across the stage and receive her diploma (yet — who knows!) due to COVID-19. At the time of writing this, Lukenna and her classmates have been doing online schooling since mid-March. Lukenna was thrilled to not have to go to school, but like her classmates and friends, she was bummed to miss out on the traditional senior milestones like prom and graduation. Thankfully, she ended her senior volleyball career this fall, and I’m proud of the way she is taking this all in stride. Nothing really seems to get her down about the situation. Like many parents, my wife and I are trying to do our best to just support Lukenna and our other kids during this very strange time with COVID-19. To miss out on things like prom and that feeling of accomplishment as you walk across the stage at graduation is just so very sad. We’ve even heard of college campuses that may be closed for the fall semester, causing me to wonder about all those freshmen who will miss out on that crucial, exciting first semester away from home. Of course, as teenagers do, I’m sure some haven’t fully come to understand what these milestones could mean to them, but at such a transitionary point in their lives, it’s sad to think about what they will miss. None of this takes away from all the hard work that was put into their schoolwork, nor does it take away from what lies ahead. They still deserve recognition for the work they put in to get to this point.
I graduated high school in the early ‘90s, you could pretty much guarantee everyone was either going to Boise State, BYU, or the University of Idaho. Those were really the only options we considered upon graduation, but today, many kids are feeling the push to do more. They look to prestigious colleges and universities outside of this region and put so much pressure on themselves. I remember the excitement of graduation, and most of all, I could not wait to get out of the house. My parents weren’t strict disciplinarians, but I still could not wait to move in with my buddies after graduation. And that’s just what I did! About a week after graduation, I was settling into my new place with a few friends of mine, and I was suddenly on my own for the first time. In today’s world, that’s not always the case. My eldest daughter went to the dorms after high school, and we’re still sorting out what my middle daughter will do. Some kids stick around home more and feel the weight of that pressure to make the best and right choice immediately, instead of failing a few times and learning as they go. Maybe it would be better if we lifted some of that pressure, let them wander, and figure out what they want. Graduation is exciting and emotional, and while the graduation ceremony will be virtual and then drive-through to accept their diplomas, it is still worth celebrating it and their accomplishments. Who knows what lies ahead for them. This is the beginning of a new and strange chapter. But it’s one they get to write — even in a pandemic.
Congrats, Lukenna, and the graduating class of 2020!
All of this has caused me to reflect on my own graduation. Times have really changed since I received my high school diploma! When
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