This month, Tri-City News asked high school valedictorians in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody to describe what it's like to graduate in the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic — and without an official ceremony.
Here's what Brett Buchan of Centennial Secondary wrote:
"This year has been rough for a lot of people, and I think every one of us graduates struggled with something and overcame it.
"From personal fights with friends to the acknowledgement that we really don’t get much for our grad year other than a certificate, we are one of the most resilient grad classes.
"I know that a lot of people may think that it isn’t the biggest thing out there, but the unfortunate truth is that this is the last time a lot of us will get to see each other and it sucks that we had none of the events to celebrate.
"I know we’re all frustrated with the situation, but I also know that we are trying to take it the best we can.
"Good job grads and good luck."