Congratulations, Class of 2020! COVID-19 upended your senior year and graduation celebrations. We want to recognize your hard work, perseverance and accomplishments amidst such unique challenges. Over the course of the next two weeks, we are highlighting high school graduates across King County. These seniors participated in either Youthsource or youth development programming supported by Best Starts for Kids. Thank you to the Institute for Community Leadership, Treehouse, Lifewire, Lambert House, Youthsource and Young Women Empowered for empowering our scholars’ dreams!
What challenges have you, your friends and/or family experienced because of COVID-19? Or, what about COVID-19 makes you feel most sad/confused/angry?
I’m enrolled in high school and in running-start; switching over to a completely online version of all of my classes wasn’t as smooth and comfortable- I think for the professors too.
It’s been challenging to be in the house all of the time – especially for my mental health. I tend to overthink a lot when I’m by myself. I learned that I don’t like being alone much and that I need social interaction. I miss my friends.
The upside to that, is that this time has brought me closer to my family. We’ve been playing board games, laughing, even cleaning has turned into play and we cook A LOT. Especially during Ramadan, I would put together the food to break fast and they helped me.
How will you be celebrating graduation this year and marking this big milestone?
All of it is unexpected. Usually, at our high school during the last few days, the other students and staff would clap the seniors out in celebration. I watched that happen all four years.
For the formal graduation, our school is hosting a drive through and I was upset at first – and obviously if there was a better solution we wouldn’t be going this route.
What are your plans for after you graduate?
I’ll be starting out at Seattle Central and then plan to transfer to Eastern University. I want to go into dental hygiene and I have an interview coming up in June for the dental assistant program. I’m indifferent because it’s happening through zoom and I had to jump through several hoops just to get in contact with them, it feels a little surreal.
What about the coronavirus pandemic has made you feel proud, supported, or hopeful?
I’m proud that I’ve been focusing a lot more on my self-care practices, it took a pandemic to help me realize that I never made time for my self-care. I started to work out and explore new skin care routines – and I’ve rearranged my room three times already.
What is your message to other people your age at this time?
I know that some of us may feel disappointed about the way senior year and graduation is ending – or even juniors thinking about their senior year. Just make the most out of it, if the class of 2020 got through this, you all can do anything.
Thank you, Suhur, and best of luck with your interview!
Earlier graduation highlights include: