Give Class of 2020 Their Graduation Back

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All the graduations in our district are done in the Tacoma Dome. I will walk you through the perspective of a senior at graduation. You meet at the senior entrance. Friends and peers surround you. It's difficult to tell who is who because you are all in the same color. Once inside, you find your three walking partners and get into order. Excitement bubbles up. The day is finally here. Four years of papers, projects, and all-nighters. Four years of spirit weeks, pep rallies, and assemblies. Four years of joking with your friends, morning coffee runs, and hanging out. It has all lead to this. You're given the signal and the groups of four start to walk out on both sides of the stage. You can hear the families shouting for their loved ones. Finally, it's your group's turn. You walk out from behind the curtains, into the bright stadium lights. You try to find your family in the crowd but there are just too many people. You get to your seat and sit down once everyone's there. You listen to your teachers and friends and peers make speeches. Now for everyone's favorite part. The names. Time feels both like its crawling past and flying by. Before you know it, it's your row's turn. There are 10 people in front of you. Now eight. Five. Four. Three. Your heart is pounding. Two. You're next. As your name is called, you walk onto that stage and hear the roar of your friends, family, and even strangers applauding and cheering for your accomplishments. You grab your diploma, shake the superintendents, and the principals hands as you pose for pictures. Now you're walking off the stage. You sit back down until they're done. It's now time for the turning of the tassel. You are congratulated and your class throws their caps into the air. You did it. Everyone files out slowly and you meet your family outside for pictures and hugs. But I don't get to have this experience. I am a senior in the class of 2020 and my school district just announced that due to COVID-19, our graduation will be done virtually. 

We have worked so hard to get here and we don't get to celebrate like years past and years to come. Somedays the only motivation to get out of bed was thinking of walking across that stage. Now we don't get to. Please, I am begging you. Give the Class of 2020 their graduation back.