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Commentary: Do not let this virus stop you from planning for your future


While the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District prepares to stage a completely new kind of graduation ceremony, one graduating senior has a few words for her fellow students.

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of KBBI’s staff board or volunteers.

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For a complete list of graduation ceremonies and activities, go to

KBBI will broadcast Homer High School graduation live on Monday, May 18 at 7 p.m.


Hi, my name is Ruby Allen and I'm a senior at Homer High School and I am speaking to you with my mask on.

I wanted to talk a little bit about how the current situation regarding COVID-19 has changed the plans of high school seniors for next year. First, I would like to say that right now is a new situation for pretty much everyone, but especially young people.


The most similar event to this, in my memory, it was the ebola virus, which barely even affected the United States, much less Alaskans. It is similar in the sense that there was a lot of fear and uncertainty surrounding it, at least in my memory, but the comparison ends there. My point is that right now is new territory.


No one knows how long this is going to continue, how much longer social distancing will be recommended, or how this will affect the world in the future. Although fear is a completely valid reaction to have right now, people, primarily high school seniors, should not completely let it dictate the plans that they are making for their future.


Obviously, there are going to be some changes. The colleges, training programs and job opportunities may not be open or available in the coming year, but it seems unwise to let a situation that could be over in six months, dictate a decision that could affect the rest of your life.


I'm not saying to ignore it while planning your future, but also don't let it be the only factor you are considering. Missing out on incredible opportunities out of fear has the potential to leave you with regret and bitterness over what could have been. That being said, it's unclear what the world will look like in the wake of this pandemic.


Many plans will change and that is not necessarily a bad thing. With this crisis comes opportunities to have a more significant impact on the world and our community, although right now is not all an ideal situation to be stuck in. It gives us more opportunities that we have not had before.

Take right now as a chance to discover how you want to fit into this new world, whether that be finding a new passion, connecting with a new community virtually, of course, or changing your perspective of the world.


Instead of seeing this as an inconvenience, take this time that we have to realign your priorities. It is especially important to remain optimistic about the future, or at least to remember that we have one.