NORMAN — Walking across the stage and throwing the cap in the air is something every student dreams about. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students at Norman North and Norman High had to put those dreams on hold for a month.

Those dreams were fulfilled this weekend.

On Friday night, Norman North held its graduation at Harve Collins Stadium. Many students were grateful and excited, as having a public ceremony was not definite.

“It feels amazing to finally walk,” Norman North graduate Dvin Perry said. “Especially with everything that’s been going on; having the last three months of school cancelled and not knowing if we were going to have a graduation. It feels good.”

Even among the exhilaration, an unexpected emotion lingered.

“It feels really weird graduating in this age and time,” Norman North graduate Chesna Gordon said. “But it feels good and it’s exciting,”

At the start of the pandemic, Gordon said students were told via email the district would hold an in-person graduation once it was deemed safe. Because a sense of doubt remained about hosting the graduation amid the outbreak, actually having the event was a relief, she said.

Norman High held its graduation Saturday morning at Harve Collins Stadium. Students were appreciative as they knew the pandemic could have rid them of this opportunity.

“It feels amazing to graduate,” Norman High graduate Ambrin Orrell said. “Especially during a pandemic, it’s crazy we were still able to come together and have the chance to do this.”

Due to the pandemic, Orrell did not think an in-person graduation would happen, she said.

“Especially not after we had the virtual graduation, I thought that was going to be it,” Orrell said. “But I’m so happy that we did get to come together and (have one).”

For some students, the graduation was more than just a ceremony. It was a milestone.

“(Graduating) is like a sense of accomplishment,” Norman High graduate Azariah Jones said. “I’m glad we were able to have a graduation. It’s reassuring. (Graduating) and having a graduation is bigger to me than it is to most people.”

Although some students have smaller ceremonies throughout their public education, Norman High graduate Azariah Jones this was his first graduation and it meant the world to him, he said.

Loud applause could be heard as families shouted and clapped for their kids walking across the stage. After it was over, hugs were exchanged and parents shed tears as they saw their kids walking to them holding their diplomas.

Reese Gorman


Follow me @reeseg_3

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