Amy Byres

As I hum the graduation song “Pomp and Circumstance” to myself while I write this column, it will be the closest to a graduation ceremony I will get.

So, thank you, Observer readers, for attending my graduation ceremony. I will keep this column short since I am sure you are eager to read the rest of the paper.

We are gathered here today between these pages to celebrate all 2020 graduates, from the high school graduates who were unable to attend their senior proms, to the college graduates who will not walk across a stage in the pure bliss of knowing they did it.

Four years ago, I began my journey at the University of New Mexico to obtain my Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and mass communication with a concentration on multimedia journalism and a minor in media arts. It is a long title, but it is all mine!

Being a college graduate has taught me that the biggest accomplishments in life are not done alone. I have had support from family, friends, co-workers and teachers to get me where I am. I am so lucky to be surrounded by supportive people.

I am particularly thankful for my father, Tim Byres. He pushed me to be the best person I can be.

He taught me how to listen to others with empathy and compassion, something often required in journalism. Because of him, I found inspiration in the stories I write and in the people I talked to.

My brother, Nick Byres, taught me to never give up. He is a pediatric nurse, is fighting for COVID-19 patients and will never give up on any of his patients.

While going to school, I maintained either multiple jobs or a full-time job while being a full-time student. On the days I felt like I could not do it any more, my brother made sure I wouldn’t give up on myself.

The rest of my family has surrounded me in love and support that made a world of difference. Even though I am not graduating the way I hoped, I am still the luckiest graduate out there.

So, congratulations Class of 2020; we did it!