By Camila De La Cruz
The Youtube Livestream “Dear Class of 2020” stream on June 7th last year was brought in to congratulate graduates that were not able to have a normal in-person graduation ceremony anticipated. The Livestream came with many celebrities sharing inspirational messages and personal stories.
The many celebrities that participated had many stories and messages to say to the students that were not able to have a real-life graduation ceremony. Famous pop singer Beyonce shared her difficulties making a difference in the entertainment industry despite being a black woman and empowered others like her to achieve their best no matter how hard it could be.
Former President and First Lady Michelle shared some very important messages as well, mentioning not only the graduates but also the people behind them. Families and friends that always had their backs in times of need.
Women’s rights activist Malala Yousafzai, also part of the Class of 2020 unable to attend an in-person graduation ceremony at Oxford University. Even mentioning having to place a sign in front of her door to keep her brother from distracting her from her studies. But once again, her main message to her fellow graduates was to use your education as a powerful tool to change the world.
The Livestream wasn’t just about inspirational words, celebrities also shared their talents, whether it be music or comedy. Many amazing performances happened as well, including singer Lizzo playing the flute, Katy Perry performing “Daisies” named after the name of her then-unborn daughter, boy band BTS brought some amazing dance moves as well as singing their old song “Spring Day” caring the message “things will get better over time” As well, TV personality Jimmy Kimmel addressed graduates in a fancy pizza graduate hat and John Mulaney also made a hilarious appearance.
Luckily many Australian students were able to semi-normal graduation with most restrictions lifted in 2020. However, this year, as NSW sees its worst outbreak of Covid-19, graduations are now at risk of becoming an online event. This year, students in NSW has been plunged with another lockdown with much more uncertainty about exams and graduations. Messages and inspiring performances become more relevant for Australia’s Class of 2021, who had to go through two years of uncertainty.
A major plus for having a virtual graduation ceremony is not having to listen to hours of long speeches in an uncomfortable gown that repeats the same messages again and again. Instead, you could even sneak in some snacks, maybe a blanket and or a pet. But what was extremely special about this Livestream was that students from all over the world were able to celebrate their success and reflect on the past years of schooling.
To the Class of 2021, even if students all over Australia and around the world would celebrate differently from what could possibly be happening in Sydney, you have powered through obstacles that many would have never even imagined. Yet, you have made it to this point, an achievement that deserves more than just one Livestream.
I think Taylor Swift explained perfectly what Year 12 students in Sydney will be doing “Expect the unexpected but celebrate either way”