Graduating During COVID-19: Makayla Marquez

What’s It Like to Graduate During a Pandemic?

We asked a few 2020 high school graduates.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost every aspect of our lives. While we’re adjusting, we wanted to know how our local seniors were impacted. Imagine not being able to feel the typical completion of something you’ve worked 12 years for.

Here is a brief interview with Makayla Marquez for her thoughts.

  1. What high school did you graduate from?
    Albuquerque High School.

  2. If you have them, what are your plans for college?
    I plan to study Marine and Coastal Sciences at Western Washington University.

  3. What was the hardest part of completing your senior year remotely?
    The hardest part about completing my senior year remotely was not having the usual in-person interactive classes that I was so used to; however it made me realize how grateful I was to have teachers that truly cared about helping me challenge myself no matter the circumstances.

  4. What did you regret missing the most from the end of your senior year?
    Although I was disappointed that my senior year ended earlier than expected and all the traditional senior activities such as prom, graduation, and honors ceremonies would no longer take place, I soon realized that this pandemic was affecting everything and everyone in one way or another.

    I had a much-needed mindset shift and realized it was shallow of me to complain about not having a senior prom or in-person graduation, because when I took a step back and fully realized all the damage that was being done, the little things I was upset about suddenly had much less weight.

    Seeing that people were fighting for their lives everyday made me reflect upon my own life. Things were changing from day to day and that’s what was so unsettling. I realized it was a time to be compassionate and grateful. I thought about the fact that I had a place to stay home, I had a healthy family and during such uncertain times I had to focus on all that I did have rather than focusing on loss.

  5. What did you take away from this situation that may help you in the future?
    Throughout high school and this past year, I have realized that every situation is about perspective. Realizing this has helped me to effectively grieve, adapt and conquer many difficult situations. This pandemic has strengthened my desire to be positive and productive and reminded me not to let anything get in the way of my future goals.

    With that being said, I have also learned that it is time to stop complaining and time to adapt and learn to be flexible —a skill that can be very challenging mostly because we have a want for things to just be normal. I’ve accepted that I may have to take an alternate route to get to my goals, but learning to be patient, flexible and adapt to sudden change is something that living through a global pandemic has taught me and is something I will always be able to apply to my future endeavors.