Graduating in a Pandemic

There’s something about the countdown to your high school graduation that makes it feel so surreal. Not only does each day fly by, but there are so many memories to be made and things to be done before graduation day. When you’ve turned your tassel to the left, and you’ve thrown your cap in the air, not only have you completed one chapter in the book, but the next is right ahead of you waiting to be started. But, what happens when there is no graduation? Alongside the thousands of others, Pennridge’s class of 2020 went down in history without formal graduation. One year later, the class of 2021 fears they’re next.

Pennridge Class of 2015

COVID-19 has not been easy on any of us. From staff to students, to concerned parents, there’s no way of knowing what the outcome of this pandemic is going to look like. Currently, Pennridge’s class of 2021 graduation ceremony is scheduled to be held at the Stabler Arena at Lehigh University on June 15th, 2021. However, in a newsletter sent out by Mr. Hegen, Pennridge’s senior class principal, students and parents are reminded that “more information (about graduation) is forthcoming with updates,” meaning nothing is set in stone. In a class zoom call earlier this year, Mr. Hegen reported that although there is a good chance that the class of 2021 graduation ceremony will be held at Stabler, seats will be limited. In the past, graduating students were allowed to bring as many as 10 guests to graduation, but with COVID, students are asked to narrow down their guest list to about 4 people per graduate. 

Pennridge’s current seniors feel like they deserve a normal graduation at Stabler. Alyssa Alosi, a senior here at Pennridge, says having in-person graduation allows “a chance to celebrate my accomplishments as a student and to lead into a new life.” Graduating high school means new beginnings. Whether that’s moving across the country for school or figuring out how you’ll work to move out of your parent’s place, you’re going to make your first adult decisions. Madi Brown, another senior here at Pennridge, suggests “to make graduation safer we could make the number of guests smaller or split it into two groups of students.” Along with social distancing, wearing face coverings, and using proper sanitation, the seniors at Pennridge are determined to make the best out of what they have been dealt with this last year.