I graduated from college the spring after the World Trade Towers collapsed and went to work at a daily newspaper in central Minnesota. In my first year or two of reporting, I felt like every story I wrote had at least one paragraph that started “In the aftermath of 9/11 …”
I was on the arts and entertainment beat.
There are some events that are so big and disruptive, they change how we as a society and individuals view our world on every level. Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic is our most recent example. In this issue, COVID references make their way into stories about office design, a homeschool collective, a new grocery store and a preschool.
And, honestly, I find it kind of inspiring. There’s evidence here that beautiful things are coming out of an unfathomably difficult time.
Nowhere is this more clear than in our Senior Spotlight high school student profiles. Many of these students finished their eighth grade year in virtual school and started high school under highly unusual circumstances. They took classes over Zoom and didn’t have access to some extracurricular activities that we’ve always just taken for granted.
But they still thrived. One of them taught himself astrophotography, capturing images of other galaxies. Another student was brave enough to try a new sport and ended up going to nationals last June.
And it’s not just the few students we were able to feature in this issue.
I’m certain I could write a compelling story about every student graduating this spring—they’ve all survived something that was unimaginable five years ago. I know it hasn’t been easy for these kids, but it sure does give me hope to see them thriving.