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Graduating During The Pandemic: A Senior Shares Their Perspective

August 17, 2021 12:00 AM
By: Kiana De La Cruz, Harrisburg High School, John Harris Campus

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​The Pennsylvania Department of Education recently connected with Harrisburg High School - John Harris Campus senior Kiana De La Cruz, who provided insight into how the COVID-19 pandemic shaped her senior year and her future plans. Read her perspective: 

"We know what we are but know not what we may be." William Shakespeare (Hamlet).

This past year I have been through several hardships; however, I have gained knowledge that I will take with me to the next chapter in my life. At the beginning of my senior year, I was very determined about the goals I wanted to accomplish, such as straight A's, completing every assignment, and going to every class.  The contrary turned out to be the case. Due to the pandemic, my educational experience was interrupted.  I overtly expressed to many of my peers, family, and teachers that I felt my "senior year" was taken from me. I know the teachers I had at John Harris Campus did the best they could, but I still felt disconnected from them.  Eventually, I gave up on school for a while because virtual school was not what I was used to nor wanted to get used to.  It took weeks to get motivation for learning and to go back to school.  It was not easy. My sleep was affected horribly; either I was not getting enough sleep, or I could not sleep. As if I did not have enough on my plate with attention to personal struggles, the stress of applying to colleges came strolling along. I was accepted to both Shippensburg University and Robert Morris University for Criminal Justice.  I felt like something was missing; both schools were not calling my heart. A family member recommended Alvernia University and shared that I could major in Criminal Justice there; I immediately applied after hearing good things about the school. The day I received an email of my acceptance, I could not stop smiling, and that is when I knew I wanted to enroll. I am still deciding whether I want to be a Crime Scene Investigator or a Forensic Scientist because I would love to study and analyze the science of crime. At the end of my high school journey, I did not graduate with honors or complete all my goals, but I am proud to say I graduated from John Harris Campus with many lessons.  As I continue with the next steps of my journey, I am proud of what I have overcome and will achieve at Alvernia University.

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