'Graduation is a little different this year,' Barrie, Ont. student on challenges amid pandemic
BARRIE, ONT. -- Whether it was learning in-class or at home, Laura Bateman continued serving as a student trustee as a way to leave her mark during her last year of grade school.
Over the last year, Bateman says she grew not only as a student but as a person.
"The past year has opened the door to the conversation about mental health," Bateman says. "My fellow classmates and I learned a lot about resiliency through mental health advocacy and navigating the virtual world."
Due to many students' isolation during the school closures, Bateman says her senate focused on bringing attention to mental health through several initiatives.
"I think the most challenging part of this past year has been the inconsistency with our learning resources, so that's jumping from face-to-face learning to virtual to a hybrid," she says.
The St. Joseph's Catholic High School student says the chaotic school year did come with a few benefits that will make for a smooth transition to post-secondary learning.
"This is preparing us for post-secondary. We have been forced to learn from a high pace environment in the quadmesters, and that will set us up for success next year," she adds during a ZOOM chat with CTV News.
Aside from the changes in the classroom, students are also adjusting to pandemic graduation ceremonies.
Bateman and her classmates in Barrie are days away from virtually walking the stage.
"Graduation is a little different this year. We have a virtual celebration on the 29th, and there's a drive-by pickup for your diploma. Also, students are getting a road sign that will say you're graduating," explains Bateman.
"Everybody has put forward their best foot, and I think it will still be special."