A graduating class of bright young people are crossing the stage this month. Smart, to be sure, and also strong and resilient.
Congratulations to all the Grade 12s in Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district – or at independent schools in the area – who make up the Class of 2021.
Their education doesn’t stop here, but a diploma is still an end reward that honours a huge achievement, and it should be celebrated as such.
High school is hard at the best of times. Passing exams takes studying and it takes smarts, and the education journey to make it to finals is one of hard work, hitting the books, and balancing all the other educational, extracurricular, social, personal and mental health challenges that come with being a teenager.
This year’s grads have done all that and more – they’ve navigated, too, a global pandemic. They’ve had things taken away from them that they couldn’t have understood were privileges until they were gone – sports seasons and school plays and grad dances and what might have been.
COVID-19 has wrought change and altered paths for grads. The ways that people work and learn and communicate and connect is different than it was a year ago. Young people tend to be adaptable and indeed, grads have handled the changes that have come and have excelled, and here they are today.
This is the part where older folks are supposed to offer advice to young people, but the truth is, this year’s grads have wisdom beyond their years. They’ve lived the same 15 months of the pandemic that the rest of us have, and their diplomas show they’re not only enduring; they’re winning.
Best of luck to the Class of 2021, who know more than they know. Best of luck to the Class of 2021, who have done something that’s hard, and will do so much more.