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 Clayton Campbell of Riverside Secondary wrote:
"My Grade 12 year whizzed by.
"This is unfortunate because when I reflect, I see that I was unable to take full advantage of my high school experience like any other year has.
"My peers and I tried so hard to be innovative, but our ideas got shut down.
"My grade 12 experience was bland, and I know others feel the same way. We will never know what it is like to graduate with everyone there.
"But it is what it is.
"Grad transitions are what everyone looks forward to, no matter the grade, nor popularity.
"The amount of apathy we received from the district was immense. I cannot express how upset everyone is that we are not going to send each other our best regards. It is easy to become a hypocrite in this whole situation.
"Even though we could not create any memories, our future is bright."