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Graduating Senior in Eugene Prepares for the Transition from High School to College

Maria Rose Gutierrez


The COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns have been especially hard on seniors who were expecting to celebrate major milestones this season, including graduation. Now, a South Eugene High schooler talks about transitioning to college.


18-year-old Alexa Ruscher is graduating from South Eugene High School. Ruscher said she is excited about graduating, but missed having her last semester of high school in-person.

“It's been honestly kind of crazy,” said Ruscher. “It abruptly ended, which none of us really thought like our last days walking in the halls was going to be our last day.”

Credit Maria Rose Gutierrez

As a member of the robotics club and the Black Student Union, Ruscher is disappointed that her time with her friends and in her learning environments was cut short.

“We never really got to do the activities that most seniors get to do each year, which really sucks,” said Ruscher. “We usually do a senior run on our last day, and senior skip day. Prom is a big one too that [ended] like right as the break started.”

Ruscher did not participate in the school’s virtual prom. But Ruscher said she and her friends hope to have a socially distanced prom later in the summer.

“A couple of months ago, we all [were in] our cars [for] a socially distanced meet up,” said Ruscher. “I guess something like that. Just be together [and dressed] up at least.”

Now, Ruscher plans to attend Lane Community College, and hopes to become a pediatric surgeon in the future.

“Most of my family are doctors, so I kind of grew up around that environment,” said Ruscher. “So it's really inspired me to become a doctor.”

For graduation, she plans to have a small party with her immediate family members. 

As Ruscher transitions from high school to college, she said the next steps seem a bit daunting, but she is excited for what lies ahead. 

“Becoming an adult and being on your own is fun, but it also can be scary cause you're going to be on your own,” said Ruscher. “And for the past like 18 years, you've been [with] your parents or whoever you've been with. And then like being on your own, making that transition can be really hard and scary. But at the same time, I'm excited to move on to the next chapter.”

This story is part of a series of audio postcards documenting the missed milestones of graduating high school and college seniors.

Elizabeth Gabriel is a former KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She is an education reporter at WFYI in Indianapolis.
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