What was supposed to be the culmination of all our labor, our graduation ceremony, is facing an uncertain future.
The commencement exercises should mark a new beginning for all of us. We will be embarking on a journey that, like the COVID-19 (new coronavirus disease) pandemic, is unknown. Despite that, we already swore to each other—at least in our actions—that our friendship will never wane.
Our class was quite complex and special. The Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS), and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) strands of our school were merged into one section due to different factors. The former had only 10 students, while the latter had 14. As a result, our jampacked section was filled with daily convulsions, hysterics and over-the-top jokes.
The boys of both strands would talk about many things, from sports to women. The girls of both strands would also discuss a lot of topics, from gossip to men.
But it wasn’t always fun. In the beginning, it was messy and stressful. Personal bonds were fragmented and strained. There was repugnance on one side, exhilaration on the other.
Luckily, our class passed through that dark moment. Foes mended their broken relationships; haters learned how to love; pals strengthened their bonds.
Lifting each other up
Through thick and thin, the HUMSS and STEM strands personified determination and cooperation. Laborious projects like research and feasibility studies showed how we could lift each other up despite our weaknesses and failures. That we wouldn’t let each other fall to the ground because we consider our class a whole. That we used the concept of graduation to remind ourselves and others that we weren’t going to end this year without all of us climbing the stage to receive our diplomas. From there, we were able to overcome the most arduous challenges of our high school life.
Probably the most favorite moment of our class wasn’t the retreat or the educational trip. It was the daily homily from our class adviser, who reminded us constantly of the status of our academics and the long road we were on. It was that voice that we will never forget from our senior high school days. Her wisdom, coming from her 40 years of experience in teaching, shaped who we are right now.
On March 27, the original date of our graduation, some of my classmates relied on photo-editing apps to imagine what we would be like on that day. My friend superimposed some of our faces on graduation gowns, amplifying our longing to attend this once-in-a-blue-moon event.
Ending our high school life with a bang wasn’t feasible in this situation. We would have had our final class picture together. We would have hugged our class adviser so tight. We would have cried like babies watching our graduation video. But whether or not a physical graduation will push through, the friendship we have built will forever linger. —CONTRIBUTED
The author, 17, is a graduating Grade 12 student of the St. John the Baptist Parochial School in Taytay, Rizal.