Glitchy Graduation


Melissa Crist

The class of 2020 is left to expect an online graduation amid COVID-19 concerns

Melissa Crist, Editor in Chief of Content

Your name is called and you walk across the stage in excitement with a high school diploma in hand, the cheers from your friends and family ring in your ears. This is the end of high school and the beginning of adulthood; you’ve made it. 

This would have been the experience for the graduating class of 2020, but due to the unexpected circumstances of Covid-19, the ceremony is nothing more than a Zoom call. This is a concern that many seniors share, claiming that those who are not graduating this year do not understand the true value of an in-person graduation.
“I am the first in my family to graduate from high school and go to college,” said high school senior, Sylvia Cantoran. As many seniors are first-generation college students, graduation was their only opportunity to display their achievements, express the appreciation they have for their family’s support, and break stereotypes. “It was a big accomplishment for my family that I even graduated from high school and [got accepted] to college,” said Cantoran. “But when I graduate [college], my family will celebrate bigger.” 

Along with Cantoran, Bryant Velasco, a senior who also looked forward to his special ceremony, was saddened when he heard the news about graduation being cancelled. “I was planning on inviting my family… but now they are devastated because they really wanted to see me graduate,” he said. Velasco, like many others, is not looking forward to an online celebration, claiming that graduation is worth more than a digital diploma. “It isn’t another day for me. It’s the start of a new chapter in my life and deserves more recognition,” he said. 

Graduation is not only a cherishable moment for high schoolers, but also for the families that raised them to become the leaders of tomorrow. “My mom would have gone live on her Facebook account for all my cousins, uncles, and aunts in Mexico to watch me walk the stage,” said Lizbeth Sanchez, another MaCES senior. Like many others, Sanchez has watched her older siblings graduate and has been patiently waiting for her turn. She remains hopeful for a late graduation.

I still want to believe, even if it may not be true, that graduation will happen

— Lizbeth Sanchez

With COVID-19 disrupting everyday life, plans cannot be set in stone, leaving seniors to wonder if they will ever have the moment they had dreamt about since freshman year. Sanchez continues to wait for that day to come. “Graduation represents the small success that would fuel me for college. That I could do it again, and this time with a degree in hand.” 

Students who have already graduated understand why it is a meaningful moment. Former Student Body President Juan Sanchez, who graduated in 2019, reflects on what the ceremony meant to him. Sanchez goes on to state, “Senior year I went through the loss of my grandpa. It was a rough patch for me and finishing high school was going to be my dedication to him. Graduation also meant the start of new beginnings for me as a job, college, and starting my credit score.” 

Sanchez valued his graduation, as it marked the start of adulthood and showed great appreciation towards his late grandfather. As family plays a major role in his life, Sanchez hopes that the current seniors know that they are not alone. “Plans fall apart or never go the way you intended them to go and that’s a part of life and growth… don’t lose hope. If you guys have any questions, reach out to MaCES Alumni. We were all in your shoes at one point and we’re glad to help,” said Sanchez. Although apart, the MaCES family continues to stay united digitally.