'We’re looking to fix some stuff.' The class of 2022 on what lies ahead

The class of 2022 would like a word

Every group of graduating students is unique, but the young adults finishing high school right now are extraordinary. Their last fully “normal” year was their freshman year. Since then, they have dealt with Zoom school, isolation, mask rules, distancing and the ever-present possibility that in-person learning could be taken away because of rising COVID-19 case numbers.

Since the pandemic began in 2020, the well-being of young people enduring unprecedented challenges was one of the biggest concerns expressed by our letter writers. We heard from countless readers about the special toll the isolation, inequalities and illness took on students — but we didn’t hear from the students themselves.

With graduation soon upon us, we asked seniors at high schools across Los Angeles to tell us their concerns and hopes as they enter a new phase of their lives, and how they see a world beset by crises even without COVID-19. This is what they told us.