The coronavirus outbreak has probably affected every single person in the world in one way or another. From the elderly to children, rich to poor, black to white, one thing we can all agree on is that this pandemic certainly does not discriminate against anyone.
In addition to forcing everyone to practice social distancing, events left and right are having to be canceled or postpones. Whether it’s a wedding, baby shower, or birthday party, it simply isn’t safe to crowd a big group of people in the same room anymore.
And while it’s good to be safe, it doesn’t mean people aren’t devastated about having to miss out on these important milestones they once thought they’d get to experience.
One of the most affected groups of people are those who are supposed to be graduating right now. Think about being a high school or college student in your senior year—and you can’t walk the stage and grab your diploma or toss your cap in the air. A big moment you think about for years, completely vanished by a virus.
Well, one high school principal in Florida knew she had to think of a way to still give her seniors that experience—in a safe way, of course.
— Angelica Bernal (@angie_bern91) April 18, 2020
Principal Farica West of the Poplar Springs High School determined that while having everyone physically in the same place was impossible, she’d have everyone in the same place—in paper.
West decided to line the campus driveway with photos of the students who were supposed to graduate this year.
“They’re missing a lot of the memorable moments that we all hold near and dear to our hearts throughout our whole lives,” she said.
With the help of the photographer who took the senior portraits, West was able to blow up the photos of the 30 impending graduates and set them up in two long rows along the driveway.
“The uplifting display has become quite the local attraction,” West said. “People who don’t even have students here, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi…have driven over just to drive through and see and honor our students.”
While nothing can replace a real graduation, the commemoration was met with positivity from the student.
“I don’t think she could’ve done it any more perfect, it’s a wonderful idea and very thoughtful,” said one senior student Peyton Brannan. “Instead of remembering I didn’t get the end to the senior year I wanted, they’ll remember my picture was right there and my grandma saw it, and my dad saw it, and my mom saw it. I got my picture made by my banner and they’ll bring back a smile to their face instead of an empty spot,” West stated.
What an amazingly unique way to commemorate these students at a time when it’s needed the most. To hear more about the well-meaning endeavor, check out the video below.
What do you think of this graduation alternative? What other creative ways have you seen people celebrate milestones in light of the coronavirus pandemic?