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Over the last few weeks we have been thinking a lot about graduation: how important it is, what makes a graduation, and how all those who graduated this year must be feeling. 

So what is graduation? Is it a celebration to mark the end of something, is it about obtaining that piece of paper stating you have completed that stage of schooling? Is it done to celebrate a success, or is it about accomplishing one of the many milestones in life? Generally, graduation and being a graduate could be any of those things. 

Although there are many different kinds of graduations, it's that special milestone of completing one stage of school and moving on that has been on our minds. Whether it’s graduating from grade eight and moving onto high school or graduating from high school and moving onto college or university, or finally reaching that last step of completing post secondary education and moving into the workforce, it's a pretty big moment for most people. 

Unfortunately due to COVID-19 and the restrictions that make large celebrations impossible, a lot of the graduates of 2020 may be unhappy. Not being able to have that ceremony of walking across the stage to accept their diploma and celebrating with their friends and family could somehow take away from the value of graduating. Graduating this year may not feel as important as it would have felt if COVID-19 had not happened.

So with thoughts like these occupying our minds lately, we wanted to take the time to say to all those graduating this year that although your graduation may not have been what you were hoping for, you now have a life experience that very few people can claim. The graduates of 2020 took a step forward and achieved an important milestone in life while so much of the world was at a standstill. You will be an example for future generations that even in a time of fear and uncertainty anything is possible with dedication and hard work. That's a pretty big deal, so be proud of what you've accomplished, because the rest of us sure are! We can't wait to see what you all accomplish next.

Congratulations to the graduates of 2020. May your future be bright and filled with opportunities to achieve the impossible!

Even though your celebration may be on hold, remember that you will not have to wait forever.

– Downtown Youth Space Staff