The graduating class of 2020 was met with a lot of surprise when the pandemic struck, forcibly resulting in the abrupt cancellation of many typical and traditional graduation ceremonies and formalities. As the pandemic dragged on to 2021, it became evident that the graduating class of 2021 would have a different graduation as well.
Because school was originally planned to be taught from home since the beginning of the school year, students were most likely aware that there would be many changes for all the upcoming events in the year (including graduation). Now that the school year is coming to a close, details for graduation have been released, and many students have pretty positive insight on it.
Senior and valedictorian Rachel Loh said, “I’m excited to say that our graduation will be in-person and socially distanced at the Santa Anita Race Track.”
Rachel disclosed another significant change about this year’s graduation: Arcadia High’s choir will not be performing live (she knows this for sure because she is the president of choir council).
“Usually, we sing at graduation but this year, it will be a recording that we have prepared ahead of time,” she added.
In a normal year, the number of people who can watch the ceremony is unlimited. Because of regulations due to COVID, there will be restrictions regarding how many people will be allowed to attend graduation (not including graduating students), and it’s just immediate family that is allowed.
Senior Rosemary Ting mentioned, “Each student is only given four tickets to give to family or friends so they can attend.”
“This year there won’t be a lot of people that can watch in person, but I’m very glad that we have a graduation at least,” said senior Matt Reale.
He also said, “Another change is that there was an optional picture-taking opportunity for graduation already (this was also extended to 2020 seniors) in addition to the one during the actual ceremony.”
Upon interviewing all these seniors, it can be concluded that it is mostly excitement and gratitude surrounding the upcoming graduation, rather than feelings of disappointment because it won’t be a normal ceremony.
“Although this definitely will not be a typical graduation, I am looking forward to seeing all my classmates finish their high school careers and walk across the stage with pride,” said Rachel.
Matt said, “I am really glad that we are able to have a ceremony this year, as it is the culmination of all our efforts throughout high school and one of the highlights as well. I was in SMW this year and was really bummed when graduation was cancelled last year, and I wasn’t able to help out at one of the largest events of the year. So besides the current seniors, I know that SMW 21-22 will be very happy that they will get this opportunity to volunteer, and I can’t wait to see them!”
The graduation ceremony will be livestreamed on June 4, starting at 6:30 p.m.
Photo courtesy of ARCADIASBEST.COM