By Jenniffer Jamison

For the last 13 years you have been working towards one goal, completing your high school education.  Some of you started thinking about graduation even in Pre-school.  If you are a senior right now you might be able to look back in your photo album and find a picture of you in a cap and gown at the end of Kindergarten.  Didn’t graduate from kindergarten, what about grade school, middle school, etc.  Being the mother of 3 children at some point I have even scoffed at the idea of a graduation from elementary school or middle school, until you don’t have the opportunity. 

Graduation!  Have you planned for it?  Have you imagined it?  This year, your senior year was cut short.  No one could have possibly imagined a worldwide pandemic bringing the country to a halt and preventing seniors from experiencing the final quarter of their senior year.  So this is happening to everyone.  How are you handling it? 

First, don’t lose sight of the wonderful experiences you have had over the past 13 years.  Starting in kindergarten – 12 grade.  Schools, teachers, friends, activities, class parties, pep rallies, promotion/graduation from k, 5th & 8th grade.  I am sure you have many memories of 9 – 12th grade.  Games, dances, prom, yearbooks, clubs, activities, competitions, friendships, etc.  Savor all that you have experienced.  Don’t let the current situation take away from 13 years of education, fun, friends and family.  

  1. Look through old yearbooks.
  2. Dig through old photos.  (Trust me your Mom has already started this exercise!)
  3. Get creative and share pictures of your fellow graduates from years gone by.  Use #2020rememberwhen?

Second, take a moment to celebrate your accomplishments.  Formally mark the occasion.  I have seen many examples of families marking this special occasion from signs to drive by parades and even online senior awards ceremonies just for their students.  There is no right or wrong way to celebrate.  This is totally up to you.  Here are some ideas:

  1. Decorate your door at home to celebrate your senior year.
  2. Put a banner or sign in your yard celebrating your accomplishment.
  3. Pick up your Cap & Gown and cords, honor sashes and pins & have a backyard photo shoot to mark the occasion. 
  4. Participate in virtual celebrations with your high school, clubs, organizations, etc.  (Crosby Scholars Iredell County will go live on our Facebook account on April 21, 2020 at 6 pm to celebrate our seniors)
  5. Create and mail out your Graduation Announcements.  These can be homemade or more formal.  Your friends and family are at home and would love to get mail.  Be sure to include a photo and a note about what you plan to do next. 
  6. Create a family celebration/ceremony and include family using Zoom, FaceTime, Skype or another online meeting tool.

Last, but not least, look forward and highlight your future plans.  I know this is a very unsure time.  Many of you know what is next.  Let the world know what is next and then start planning for your future. 

  1. Wear that College gear with pride!
  2. Explore your colleges and universities’ websites and virtual tools.
  3. Join group pages on social media to get connected.
  4. Crosby Scholars Iredell is going to offer Zoom calls for all the scholars planning to attend the same school, so you can get to know other students from Iredell County that will be in the same place next year.
  5. Start planning!  Dorm room, class registration, orientations. 

Allow yourself to see the light at the end of this tunnel.  Let yourself be excited and anticipate all of the wonderful experiences and adventures that are to come.

The class of 2020 can get down about the current situation or you can use this time with family and friends to connect, remember, celebrate and plan.  I am not sure you will believe me, but what you are going through right now will make this moment in your life MORE memorable and just imagine the stories you will have to tell your kids and grandkids.  #2020rememberwhen?