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 Eric Song of Dr. Charles Best Secondary wrote:
"This last year has been difficult.
"With Covid came a lot of uncertainty and change to the dynamics at school, and it took some time getting used to; some people still haven’t been able to quite adjust.
"A lot of what made school fun and enjoyable was sitting in class with your friends and struggling together, laughing together, but that wasn’t something we were really able to experience this year.
"However, I think this last year has been a huge learning experience for all of us, and while this isn’t something we would want to experience again, it’s a type of adversity that can help young adults like us grow.
"Although we do not get our traditional ceremony, that doesn’t mean this accomplishment isn’t any less meaningful. As I tried to emphasize in my speech, the importance of this event stems from who you experience it with, not where it is or what you do."