Marcus Hill

Marcus Hill, Staff Reporter 

It’s that time of year... My Facebook feed is flooded with photos of graduations, gowns and quotes on caps.

It's great to see. In 2020, COVID-19 robbed kids of a typical graduation experience as the coronavirus pandemic lasted a bit longer than the expected two weeks. Many high schoolers lost out on opportunities to create cherished memories with friends due to remote learning and lockdowns.

Things like prom, college campus visits, state championships, senior pranks (not encouraging this, but kids do these things) were moved aside as the pandemic spiraled out of control.

Yes, this year’s seniors won’t have the normal stories to share, but that’s what makes this class special. Today's graduate's can tell their grandkids, “I completed high school during a pandemic,” which is something few people can say. And for that, I respect the hell out of the class of 2021.

Many students thought they’d return to school in April 2020 only to learn classes wouldn’t resume until the following academic year.

Spring break, for many, became summer vacation, but and students adapted on the fly. They went from in-person learning to remote classes overnight and back to in-person learning with masks and Plexiglass.

These graduates still managed their last year of school and earned their diplomas, despite all the obstacles that set out to thwart their success.

So to all the graduating seniors: When you walk across that stage, do so with pride. There was nothing normal about this last academic year, and there's nothing normal about you. Tough times make tough people, and you are among the toughest group I know.

Congratulations!

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Marcus Hill is a staff reporter for Colorado Publishing House. He graduated from Colorado State University-Pueblo in 2012 with a degree in Mass Communication.