HNRH Grade 12 student Lauren Ottewell. (Photo by Quantum Creations Zack Graham)

By Lauren Ottewell, a Grade 12 student at HNRH in Kennetcook

This year would have been the year I would have graduated. It was a year where I would have encountered new, exciting and challenging adventures.

I would have been graduating with all of my other classmates on June 26. I was supposed to be the Valedictorian for my class, alongside one of my good friends.

Due to the COVID19 virus spreading I will no longer be able to represent my class, and I will no longer be able to walk across the stage in front of my family and friends, which as you can imagine is heartbreaking. I will no longer be able to attend my last prom and safe grad. I will also no longer be able to have my last walk in the halls of the school, or have senior skip day.

Now most of you may be thinking that I may be over dramatizing my feelings in regards to all of this, or you may think I’m being selfish, trust me I do take into account all of the lives at stake which is devastating, and I wouldn’t wish this virus upon anyone in the world.

Photo by Quantum Creations (Zack Graham).

But for the seniors of high school or the seniors of university or college, please be kind to them as well. We have worked our butts off to get this far and have spent countless nights on assignments, projects or presentations for this moment to come. This brings me great sadness, as this was the year I had been looking forward to for quite some time. 

As I know I’m not alone in this, I decided to ask my friends how the pandemic is affecting their graduating year.

In the following article I asked Maddi Wilson and Shae Allen who attend Avon View High School in Windsor, as well as Shyanne White who attends Hants North Rural High in Kennetcook.

The question I asked the three girls was, “How has the Covid-19 pandemic impacted your final semester? What things were planned that you are now no longer doing”, to which they all responded that they were upset at how Safe Grad, Graduation and Prom were cancelled, and how there are students and teachers we may never come into contact with again.

As most people know, those things are traditions that every school does at the end of the year. Although most schools are trying to organize an alternative for graduation, it is still very unclear for both schools as to whether we will have any celebration for the graduating students, which is extremely disappointing.

Currently we have been informed that we are waiting for permission from N.S. Education as to whether we can go ahead with plans for graduating ceremonies.

I know from my point of view that not being able to be at school these past few months has been challenging. In places where I would usually have guidance from teachers or staff, that is now no longer an easy option. Things like registering for student loans, to knowing how to pick your courses for your next path in life.

Despite the circumstances surrounding the last few months, myself and the other three girls I spoke to are still on track for our post secondary education.

I am going to Acadia University to study a Bachelor of Arts in English to become an Elementary Teacher, Maddi Wilson is studying Kinesiology at Acadia University to become a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Shae Allen Is studying Business at Acadia University to become a Teacher as well, and finally Shyanne White will be attending Truro NSCC to become a CCA Nurse.

Our current situation may not have been how we envisioned it, but we are making the most out of a bad situation.

To the Graduating Class of 2020, congratulations and may you accomplish everything you desire and more. If you know any graduates in your life, be gentle with them. This is painful and heartbreaking.