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Class of 2021: 8 students share their hopes and fears as they prepare to graduate during a pandemic

Class of 2021: 8 students share their hopes and fears as they prepare to graduate during a pandemic

8 students at various stages of their education speak about their experiences with virtual learning.

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CBC News spoke with students from the class of 2021 on what it has meant to them to be graduating this year. Clockwise from the top left: Shelley Wiart, Raed Baker, Cindy Njoki Kamau, Kelia Chien, Elizabeth Taylor, Shivangi Patel, Justyce Bieuz and Brayden Harsent. (Submitted)

For a second year in a row, many graduates across Canada are seeing cancelled proms, pause-of-year class trips and long-awaited graduation ceremonies.

No, the road to getting a level in a pandemic hasn’t been ideally suited. But calm, the long bustle looks to be gleaming for the class of 2021.

CBC News spoke to eight secondary and post-secondary students graduating this year about the abilities of adjusting their finances, finding jobs and — love those the year before them — missing the chance to walk across a stage.   

Justyce Bieuz, North Bay, Ont.

Bieuz plans on studying acting at Humber Faculty after graduating from excessive faculty this year. (Justyce Bieuz)

Justyce Bieuz, a Grade 12 scholar at Chippewa Secondary Faculty in North Bay, Ont., said he’s made his peace with the fact he gained’t gain to walk across a stage this year.

“No longer only have my parents examine me, nonetheless also have all those chums and teachers I grew up with and caught by my facet,” he said.

Bieuz plans to move to Humber Faculty in Toronto subsequent fall, nonetheless is doubtful if his classes will be virtual or in-particular person.

“[If] I give up my job to come down there [and] I can’t gain a job down there, I’m in a predicament,” he said

WATCH | Justyce Bieuz on how social media has stored him motivated:

Bieuz says whenever you happen to have a accurate presence on-line of us will adore it. The excessive faculty grad has 2.3 million likes on his TikTok. 0: 28

Shivangi Patel, Montreal

Patel says having her grad images taken felt more love a celebration than the virtual iron ring ceremony she had after completing her program. (Shivangi Patel)

Shivangi Patel, an engineering major at Montreal’s Concordia University said her precedence after graduation is to search for a job in her discipline. Meanwhile, she has been finding other ways to stay productive.

“This year I determined to restart my baking commercial because COVID would now not appear to be going away,” she said. 

“I’m [enjoying] my commercial nonetheless I accomplish want to work as an engineer. I’m also enrolled in interior gain now, so I’m going to be doing that.”

WATCH | Student from class of 2021 talks about her iron ring ceremony:

Shivangi Patel, a scholar from the class of 2021, talks about attending a ring ceremony on-line. 0: 25

Kelia Chien, Vancouver

Chien says cutting down on her travel time gave her heaps of opportunities to gain her digital presence in uncover to create on-line communities and connections . (Kelia Chien)

Kelia Chien is a media research graduate from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Last year was tough for her, and graduating on-line feels surreal, she said.

“It was surely much less engaging than the typical. I have ADHD [Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder], so I misplaced a lot of motivation and also acquired ‘senioritis,'” she said referring to a light-hearted time frame for the lack of motivation graduating students generally feel as they gain discontinuance to the top of the faculty year.  “Within the last stretch, I felt love I was on the last limb walking.”

She said she spent most of the year typing and having a glance at displays. 

“You impact no longer really have a sense or a pace of what you are achieving,” Chien said. “It be no longer love you are going to faculty or seeing your professors.”

WATCH | Chien on how the pandemic pushed her to gain a digital presence:

Kelia Chien says she focused her attention on virtually networking more this year. 0: 36

Brayden Harsent, Kelowna, B.C. 

Harsent says he plans on spending more time after faculty constructing his fashion upcycling brand MoonRoom. (Brayden Harsent)

For Grade 12 scholar Brayden Harsent at Rutland Senior Secondary Faculty in Kelowna, B.C., the top of excessive faculty will mark the starting of his entrepreneurial fashion pursuits.

“I kind of have to give credit rating to [COVID-19] for giving me the chance and chance to start my contain commercial,” he said.

“After I graduate  the sector goes to start up to me. It be going to give me so way more time to deal with myself and my commercial and my brand.

“I feel it be suitable going to be really enjoyable to examine the opportunities that will come.”

WATCH |  Harsent on how the pandemic has helped him plan for his future:

Harsent says having faculty shut down during the pandemic gave him the chance to expand his commercial and steady studio space in downtown Kelowna, B.C. 0: 46

Cindy Njoki Kamau, Toronto

Kamau is a graduate from the University of Toronto who spent the last year leading the UofT Black Students Association. (Cindy Njoki Kamau)

Cindy Njoki Kamau is a fourth-year political science specialist majoring in African research graduating from the University of Toronto. She said graduating this year means she’ll no longer only fail to see walking across a stage, nonetheless on the chance to have her family from Kenya right here to celebrate with her.

“I feel me getting this level was also no longer suitable for me, nonetheless also for her to a certain extent,” she said of her mother.

The class of 2021 is another milestone for Kamau — she is the first particular person on her mother’s facet to move to university.

“For me, it was creating a pathway for my family… [showing] the ladies in my family that if I may accomplish this, you can accomplish this, too,” she said.

WATCH | Student from the class of 2021 talks about life after graduation:

Kamau says graduation has greater meaning than suitable walking across a stage. 0: 43

Shelley Wiart, Lloydminster, Alta. 

Wiart credit rating her grandmother as an important feature model in her determination to pursue her undergraduate level at a mature age. (Shelley Wiart)

Shelley Wiart is a mature Métis scholar with three daughters, residing in a rural crew in Alberta and is graduating from Athabasca University with a level major in sociology and a minor in gender research.

She plans to move to law faculty to continue her work advocating for Indigenous communities.

“Changing into a lawyer to me means that I have the tools in place in uncover to change legislation so that Indigenous communities are safe, that their data is safe, that their information is safe, that they have a way to advocate for themselves, and that there is a nation to nation relationship.”

Wiart said that she didn’t examine motherhood as something that stood within the way of pursuing larger education. 

“I feel that it be really important that they examine how hard I work and that I’m achieving my goals and dreams,” she said.

“They saw how hard I was working, and they gave me a graduation card two weeks ago.”

WATCH | Wiart on persevering with post-secondary education as a mature scholar:

Wiart says she put her education on maintain to take care of her adolescents and determined to continue as soon as her youngest daughter was in kindergarten. 1: 02

Raed Baker, Brampton, Ont. 

Baker says he has maintained his optimism during university by creating original clubs that allowed him to foster connection start air the class atmosphere. (Raed Baker)

Raed Baker is graduating with an honours level in human useful resource management at York University in Toronto.  His parents covered part of his financial charges and the relaxation he paid for it utilizing loans from the Ontario Students Assistance Program (OSAP).

His focus is getting out of debt.

“It be been reasonably sophisticated, especially hearing some of us’s stories of how they graduated last year with an HR level and calm cannot bag a job that’s for the duration of the actual discipline that we studied for,” he said. 

“It be surely something that’s scary and raises a lot of questions, nonetheless I’m calm looking forward to locating a accurate job and inner my discipline.” 

Elizabeth Taylor, Halifax

Taylor spent her last year leading the Dalhousie Black Law Students Association and says her time at Dalhousie has informed her dedication to crew building. (Elizabeth Taylor)

Elizabeth Taylor is graduating from Dalhousie University’s Schulich Faculty of Law in Halifax, and said her virtual learning abilities allowed her to be more eager on extracurricular activities. 

“When you happen to are at home, you can suitable jump onto a Zoom call… I was able to be more engaged in various societies than I previously was able to be.”

Taylor added that as the president of the Dalhousie Black Law Students Association during the pandemic, she focused her attention on the mental successfully-being of her members. 

“I wanted to make certain I prioritized mental health and wellness and crew,” she said. “We did a lot of small dinners and a fundraiser the place we had been able to donate to the East Preston daycare centre.”

WATCH | Taylor talks about missing her family:

Taylor says she has split her time whereas in Halifax on crew building, working within the law department beneath some professors and extracurricular activities. 0: 23

Class of 2021: 8 students share their hopes and fears as they prepare to graduate during a pandemic