Ale Velarde, was just another senior in high school at Heritage Christian School in 2020. Like other normal teenagers, he had no idea that the last few months of his senior year would be hijacked by a global pandemic. I recently had a conversation with Ale about how Covid-19 affected the end of his senior year and how it has continued to impact his life after graduation.
Q: What was your initial reaction to hearing about schools closing?
A: My initial reaction was that I am going to miss my friends. I’m also going to miss my daily routine and not being able to practice soccer after school.
Q: When Covid-19 hit, was it harder to apply to colleges and narrow down where you wanted to go?
A: No it was thankfully not harder for me because I had already an idea of where I wanted to go and already had a plan to succeed in school. I am currently attending Moorpark College and then will transfer to USC.
Q: If you had one piece of advice you could tell your past self before Covid-19 hit, what would it be?
A: Dont take the times that you have at school for granted, including friends and family. Also dont slack off in school.
Q: How has your relationship with God helped you through this pandemic?
A: When ever I felt like it was never going to be over, I always had God to lean on. Whenever I felt discouraged he kept me calm, cool, and collected.
Q: How has the coronavirus affected your family? Have you grown closer?
A: Yes my family and I have definitely grown closer and my dad for sure has been affected because of how he sometimes was unable to go work in his office and was forced to work from home. I’ve grown closer with my family by eating more together and I’ve learned that my parents have a lot of knowledge to give me.
Q: What do you think you will tell your future kids about this crucial time in your life?
A: Even though times will be tough, you will always have family and God to lean on because those are the two things that will never stab you in the back. Also I lived through a time period where we had to wear masks everyday and not be able to see peoples faces.
Q: Do you think the pandemic has caused any positive thing to happen in your life? If so, what were those things?
A: Yes, due to Covid-19 I have grown financially because of a new job I applied and was hired for. My source of income was taken away from me in the blink of a eye and now I value essential workers more.
Q: Do you have any advice for this years senior class?
A: Enjoy the simple times in life and make a lot of friends. Also don’t procrastinate and go to all of your senior activities because you dont want to experience the fear of missing out.