LETTER: Class of 2020 friends find wild way to celebrate graduation

In the June 10, 2020 edition of the North Shore News, we ran a feature article written by reporter Jane Seyd about the unique circumstances surrounding the graduation of the Class of 2020. In reply, we got this wonderful letter as well as some photos from graduating Argyle Secondary student Adam Steele. We liked the letter and photos so much, we thought we’d share them with you here. Congratulations Adam, and all the grads of the Class of 2020!

Dear North Shore News,

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I was very impressed by the recognition reporter Jane Seyd gave us 2020 grads in the article in the June 10 edition of the News. Though we’ve had to face significant disappointment this year, I agree with the West Van grad in saying that we, the Class of 2020, will hold all our memories so much closer than other graduating classes. I also echo the optimism that one of your older interviewees had that we “will find ways to find meaning in [our] unusual graduation.” After our convocation before the cameras on May 29, I think my friends and I did just that....

Once each of us had had our walk across the stage at the Education Services Centre on Lonsdale, myself and four other friends gathered in one of our backyards for a party, similar to the Windsor grad you interviewed. Sitting in a circle on the back lawn of my friend’s Upper Lynn Valley home, we stared up at Lynn Peak and thought, “Geez, we should climb that hill some time.” Soon enough, we had it in our heads that a photo in grad regalia would be all the more memorable from the top of the mountain than at the Education Services Centre.

A group of friends set out early in the morning in search of a unique grad photo. photo Adam Steele

And so we hatched a plan. After a fun and socially-distanced evening of chatting and snacking, we all went home for a couple hours of sleep before dragging ourselves out of bed again, bright and early. Being the first ones up the mountain was a heady feeling in and of itself, but as we took our gowns and caps out of our backpacks and began snapping photos, we all began to feel just how special the moment was. Sure, we had missed out on what we all expected for grad, but we all had to admit, this was a pretty cool consolation prize.

And so, just as mentioned in your article, we were able to find some meaning to our graduation. Sure, it wasn’t a gaudy downtown banquet, or an exhilarating prom and after-prom, but my friends and I found our own way to make celebrating grad work. I doubt that any grads have made a similar trip to ours – at least pre-COVID – but I think now, more kids will have been seizing on opportunities to celebrate this special moment in our histories, however they present themselves.

So, next time you’re out for a walk in the woods and come upon a group of teenagers, you might want to keep your eyes peeled for caps and gowns among the hiking boots and backpacks of the Class of 2020!

Thank you for giving newspaper coverage to us kids, as we leave school and begin to navigate our strange new world. Good community journalism is important and cannot be overlooked, and with the quality and depth of your writing, I’m sure you’re helping retain readership among our generation. Your efforts do not go unnoticed by the Class of 2020.

All the best,

Adam Steele
Ecole Argyle Secondary

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