Coronavirus Can’t Stop Commencement

How Poly is paying tribute to seniors on Instagram

Jack Boyle, Contributing Writer

As the world is adjusting to social distancing, the seniors have not forgotten about their commencement. Social distancing, however, is forcing the school to create new ways to celebrate the graduating seniors, given that a normal ceremony in the Front Oval of Poly’s campus is no longer possible.   

One of the ways the school has highlighted the senior class is through social media. An Instagram account (@polyprep2020) keeps the student body updated on where the graduating class will be attending college. A second Instagram account (@polybluedevils) regularly posts “senior spotlights” that individually commend the great achievements that many student-athletes have accomplished in their years at Poly.  

Graduating senior Lilian Dana said, “The Instagram account is a nice way to try and make up for some of the stuff we aren’t getting to do. We’ve all been looking forward to this time of senior year for the past four years, some even longer. Obviously, the Instagram account doesn’t accomplish the same thing as what would have been, but it’s just nice to acknowledge everyone’s accomplishments.” 

Clearly, the use of social media won’t completely make up for what has been missed during quarantine, but it is a great start in appreciating and congratulating the graduating class on their amazing accomplishments at Poly.

Many have wondered how this pandemic will affect the upcoming graduation ceremony. It was decided that there will be a virtual commencement on June 12 at 11:00am. 

Headmaster Audrius Barzdukas wrote in a letter to the Poly community, “We hope our virtual celebration will give the class of 2020 a sense of pride in completing their academic journey and joining the distinguished ranks of Poly alumni.” 

There have also been several discussions regarding the possibility of having an in-person ceremony at some point in the future. The date has not been solidified, but Poly is working hard to make it happen when conditions are suitable. 

Commenting on virtual graduation, graduating senior Brittany Jones said, “I think it’s a given that virtual anything right now is really difficult on everyone. I know that as a senior it’s just difficult to accept that after working so hard to get to this time of year all the best parts couldn’t happen. But, although a virtual graduation isn’t ideal, it is all that any school can offer to their students right now. I think that Poly’s doing even better than they truly have to, by looking for potential dates to have an in person graduation. My sister’s virtual graduation from college was 15 minutes long and Poly’s could be too but they’re making the extra effort to try and live up to what we all hoped we could experience by aiming to have an in person graduation.”  

Many seniors have sadly come to accept the unfortunate situation that the coronavirus has put on both the country and their commencement ceremonies. Despite this, Dana and Jones exemplifies how to see light in the midst of this dark time.

The future of the world is unknown. No one knows the cure for the virus, how long its effects will last, and when society will return to its normal ways (assuming it ever does). Despite these mysteries and all the harms of the coronavirus, at least this graduation will be the most memorable one in recent history.