Lack of traditional graduation ceremony saddens first-generation seniors

Alondra Nuno

Online Editor-in-Chief Alondra Nuño and her parents, who were eagerly awaiting her high school graduation.

The guests were invited to my graduation. We already had my graduation party planned. The place was already reserved. The banda had been contacted and we had the theme planned. 

Then  COVID-19 came, canceling many school events, including graduation, thus majorly impacting high school seniors. We have lost many other activities preventing us from having a regular senior year such as prom, GradNite, senior sports banquets, musicals, senior awards, etc. and with graduation being one of them, this is a major disappointment. 

Graduation is one of the events seniors look forward to because it signifies their completion of the 12 hard-working years we’ve gone through. 

As a first-generation graduate, graduation signifies reaching a milestone. It’s more than just walking across the stage with a cap and gown on and receiving a diploma. It’s much more than completing those 12 years. 

Graduation signifies accomplishing something our parents couldn’t because of their circumstances. It means making my parents proud and showing appreciation for all of the sacrifices they made to get me to be where I am today. Nothing can compare to walking across the stage wearing a decorated cap and a gown. 

My family, including my closest aunts, my grandma, family friends and old friends, were planning to attend the ceremony. Nothing will replace being able to walk across the stage and seeing the joy in my parents’ faces. I want my parents to be proud of me considering we immigrated here when I was two months old. At that time, my dad was playing professional soccer with C.D Guadalajara known as Chivas. 

It has been said that many schools will hold a virtual graduation ceremony through Zoom. Schools will most likely mail students their diplomas and try their best to recognize the Class of 2020.  Although we do want to thank everyone for their effort in recognizing the Class of 2020, nothing will fill in the void of walking across the stage and seeing everyone do so. Nothing can replace having a graduation ceremony full of joy and an unforgettable memory. 

The Class of 2020 should be remembered for their accomplishments and hard-work especially all the first-generation students who are among this class. As a first-generation student, I want to dedicate my graduation to my parents who had to make sacrifices to get me to where I am now. If it weren’t for their sacrifices, I don’t know where I would be right now but I do know that I wouldn’t be in the position I am right now.