MILLER: This wasn’t high school experience I remember | Opinion

All Canadians are making sacrifices through the pandemic.

I sympathize with everybody — seniors who can’t hug their grandchildren, individuals who died alone, working-class of us who misplaced their jobs or companies.

Often forgotten is the demographic that’s sacrificed maybe probably the most — high school college students.

On a private observe, my high school experience was principally optimistic. I didn’t significantly get pleasure from most courses, however liked the social elements and extracurriculars, particularly in my junior and senior years. I had nice academics.

When I cowl a high school occasion, it brings again reminiscences, a way of deja vu.

Not this week.

I visited Penticton Secondary School Thursday for an interview with three music college students. Although everybody stays upbeat and optimistic, it’s actually not the graduating 12 months I would have preferred when I was a scholar.

Hallways have been silent. It jogged my memory of examination week when there’s no exercise. Usually by 8 a.m., there’s a flurry of exercise. It’s loud. Real loud. Kids hurrying to be in school by the ultimate bell, academics juggling a briefcase and sizzling cup of espresso, VPs greeting everybody with a pleasant, “good morning.”

This 12 months, the high school musical will probably be introduced on YouTube. Friends and household are unable to attend resulting from COVID.

Student athletes are restricted to drills and abilities improvement. Competing in opposition to different colleges gained’t occur, a minimum of not this 12 months. Jocks dream of being the beginning point-guard of their ultimate 12 months of high school, main their crew to the Valley championship. Gone.

High school courses are longer, which works properly for topics that require time for set-up and take-down. For college students with quick consideration spans — as I was — it should be grueling.

Out-of-town area journeys have


Last 12 months’s conventional commencement was scrapped and changed with smal teams. Dry Grad grew to become a drive-thru occasion.

With college students restricted to pods of 16, they’re not in a position to broaden who they’ll hang around with throughout breaks and between courses.

For the Grade 12s, that is two years in a row of a awful high school experience.

High school is meant to be one of the best years of your life.

Student leaders, academics and directors have change into extraordinarily inventive, using all advantages the web has to supply.

Had COVID been round say, when I graduated in 1984, none of this stuff could possibly be completed.

Ironically, it’s factor COVID hit throughout this time in historical past. Teachers and college students are in a position to join due to know-how. This wouldn’t have been attainable even 20 years in the past.

What’s unbelievable is the resilience of younger folks. I notice COVID has brought about added stress and lots of teenagers are struggling anxiousness.

Still, I don’t hear a variety of complaining. They have accepted obligatory masks. They are respecting social distancing.

The COVID deniers are middle-aged folks. Young folks respect science. Young folks respect their group.

To all of the Grade 12 college students, thanks to your sacrifices. You are those who’re being leaders. As adults, we will study from you.

James Miller is managing editor of The Penticton Herald.

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