Feelings of loss & grief are NOT only caused by the death of a loved one. The loss of anything held dear to us can cause real pain and depression.
This month’s BTS Live guests, Kallysa Young and Kayla Cook share with Kadene their grief of all the missed milestones associated with leaving high school – in 2020. They are among the global group of students who will forever look back on their final days of school with sadness and possibly anguish. Kayla’s word to describe how she feels about her final year of high school was ‘UNFINISHED’ and Kallysa’s word was ‘SURREAL’.
Milestones are accomplishments and celebrations, markings of the progress of life and the beginnings of new chapters. They bring people together and represent some of the most important points in individuals’ lives, times to look back on with fondness, pride, and nostalgia. When the pandemic just started and for many, many, many months after,these milestones were ‘stolen’ from so many persons.
Class of 2020 students was hit particularly hard by the pandemic. Whether middle school, high school, college, or university, final year students of the class of 2020 were all denied some key milestone activities and experiences that were a significant and symbolic part of marking the beginning of a new chapter. Grad bash, prom, walking across the stage at graduation to collect diplomas and certificates – being recognized by cheering family and teachers – all of that was not possible for the Class of 2020. The impact of those ‘missed milestones’ on the class of 2020 was significant. Two years later many are still sad, angry, or bitter about their final year experience, as Kallysa and Kayla share.
This is a reminder to parents and parent figures, that if you haven’t really had the conversation with your Class of 2020 students about the impact of those missed milestones, it is not too late.