Growing up in a small town, you look forward to big exciting events and new things happening.

When everyone thought of the year 2020, we thought it was going to be full of amazing, — wait, no — extravagant, new, exciting pathways. Just like the 1920s, it would be full of parties, happiness and feeling alive.

Now looking back, none of those truly happened. Instead we got threats of world wide wars, and now a deadly virus that has no vaccine. The only part that is happening is everyone trying to feel alive while in quarantine.

While most people are in their kitchens doing work, or sitting back watching Netflix or Disney+, students are taking advantage of this moment of no school. We love that we have no school, but it leaves us stressing out and freaking out (mainly high school and college students) about our classes, grades, and whether we are able to graduate or move up toward that next grade. This also means that so many hopeful people may not get, or will have to wait even longer for, advancing, getting their dream degree, or even graduating!

Yes, COVID-19 is a horrendous and horrible virus, but it is affecting everyone mentally, physically, and through their hopes and dreams too.

We seniors have worked so hard for this moment, and to get it thrown away like trash? I think not! We deserve to have this graduation, especially since it means the ending of our childhood, and the beginning of our next chapter. We dreamt of this moment for so long and worked incredibly hard for this. Restless nights and days of studying, taking classes to challenge ourselves and even taking classes that we are already supposed to take and working hard on them. No matter what type of student you are, we deserve to have a graduation. As one unknown has said “Graduation is an exciting time. It marks both an ending and a beginning; it’s warm memories of the past and big dreams for the future.”

Also, it gives seniors a chance to show our families what we accomplished; we completed high school and matured. A lot of us worked to pay for our graduation cap and gowns, and all that goes with it. We deserve to have this moment, whether it is on the day the school planned it or on another day when it is safe and healthy to do so.

This is so important to me because I am a senior, and I have dreamt of the moment I walk across the stage and say goodbye to my dearest friends and childhood and say hello to adult life and the new challenges that will push me to become a better person to society and become more successful. It gives me the chance to prove those who doubted me wrong, to see that I have succeeded at this and I will overcome any other challenges as long as I keep a positive mind and a hard working soul!

This is our time, our chance to prove all those who doubted us, the class who was born at a horrible and horrendous time in 2001, and now living during another time that took our shine away again, to show that we will rise up and be the greatest. This class believes in themselves and the world and will do whatever it takes to make this world or even our community a better place!

Nevaeh Cubbage-Thorp is a Hermiston High School senior.

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