Tuesday, July 14, 2020
July 14, 2020

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2020 VSAA graduate Yeshi Berry

The Columbian
Published:

May is a busy time for high school students, particularly seniors. But now, the coronavirus pandemic has canceled sports, competitions and activities, not to mention prom and graduation. What event or activity were you particularly excited for this year? Why is it important to you? How are you feeling missing it?

I was particularly excited for my theater class’s senior-directed one acts. Every year the seniors in my theater class are given the opportunity to be in the director’s seat and direct a one-act play. Directing isn’t necessarily something I am hoping to do professionally but I was delighted to go through the process and gain more insight and appreciation for that side of theater. This is something I had been looking forward to all year and it was definitely upsetting finding out that, along with the school year, they were canceled. We are attempting to still do them virtually which has been fun and I am very fortunate to have a teacher who is passionate about the arts and finding solutions during these strange times.

Many of you talked about the lack of closure this year brought. Tell us about why it’s important to you to have some sense of closure on your educational experience, and what, if anything, you’re doing to make peace with the fact that this period of your life is coming to an end.

Senior year and all the things that come with it has been something I have been looking forward to since I was a little girl. I’ve always imagined what I would feel like on graduation day and now that it may not happen I feel strange planning for my next steps into college and adulthood. That sense of closure from my high school life helps with the transition into my next step. Although I may not be able to graduate, I think through this quarantine I’ve been able to find that closure through self-reflection and many reminiscent talks with my peers.

The coronavirus pandemic is an event of global scale and with massive historical implications. But the class of 2020 has lived through a number of other historical events: The 2016 election, the Parkland shooting, a rise in youth activism and more. How have these events shaped you, and how do you think this pandemic will affect your understanding of the world in the future?

School shootings being a real threat is not an easy thing to grow up thinking about as a high school student. Going from the 2012 election to the 2016 election was not easy either. Graduating during a global pandemic has not been easy. The one thing all of these events have taught me is that life isn’t going to be easier and it will stay that way if you don’t try and do something about it. I have learned to use my voice and never stop fighting for what I believe in.

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