Congratulations to the Class of COVID-19

In the face of upheaval, today’s grads have a unique opportunity


It’s normally a time of year that graduating students can look out at a world full of promise and at least some kind of certainty of what their futures might look like.

So, how does the Class of COVID-19 navigate a world that appears to be anything but?

It is almost impossible to write a commencement speech (or grad editorial) without invoking some kind of platitude along the lines of “this is your time” or “your class will shape a better world.”

This year alone, Malala Yousafzai – the Pakistani activist for female education and herself a member of the Class of 2020 – said: “The class of 2020 won’t be defined by what we lost to this virus but by how we responded to it. The world is yours now and I can’t wait to see what you make of it.”

Former U.S. president Barack Obama was no less unoriginal.

LAST WEEK: A force for good

“Nobody can tell you anymore that you should be waiting your turn, nobody can tell you anymore that this is how it’s always been done,” he said. “More than ever this is your moment, your generation’s world to shape.”

The problem is, what else can you say to a generation that is moving on to the workforce or further studies in an era of unprecedented upheaval.

Some wisdom of the ages may be appropriate. Plato, the greek philosopher and founder of the Academy, the first institution of higher learning in the Western World, said: “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister said: “Crises and deadlocks when they occur have at least this advantage, that they force us to think.”

It’s unclear where it came from, but a popular Christian axiom holds that “When God closes a door, He opens a window” meaning, of course, to treat setbacks as opportunities.


It’s not worth getting angry over minor inconveniences

Your own backyard

In his commencement speech, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau compared the current circumstances to those faced by the generation that came of age at the end of the Great Depression and beginning of the Second World War, often referred to as the “Greatest Generation.”

“They sacrificed a lot, they dreamed big, they worked hard, and they left us a world far better than they found it,” Trudeau said. “The challenge facing the Class of 2020 is not dissimilar.”

You’ve got your work cut out for you.

The necessity is there, there is no shortage of crises, a lot of doors are closed.

You’re going to have to be inventive, you’re going to have to think deeply, and work hard, but the window is indeed open for you to be the next “Greatest Generation.”

The Interior News hopes you are.


Now, get out there, get to work, and change the world for the better.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Who is or may be running in Stikine in the provincial election

Cullen nomination sparks controversy over NDP equity policy

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

Witset releases COVID-19 strategy following three confirmed cases

Plan implements strict measures to contain spread of the virus

Meet the 10-year-old girl who grew a pineapple in northern B.C.

Emily Atkins discovers it takes a lot of patience to grow tropical fruit in a temperate climate

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Vancouver Island sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Oak Bay man was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo

Most Read