BEAVERTON — Kendra Hicks, an eighth grader at Holy Trinity Catholic School in Beaverton, faced numerous challenges with schools closed this spring.

Eighth-graders are supposed to be closing their grade school lives, said Hicks. Ordinarily, by eighth grade graduation, she and her classmates would have participated in the many eighth grade rituals.

We are “accepting that we’ve done everything but that we haven’t done everything,” she said, capturing the paradox of a 2020 graduate. Every spring the eighth graders at Holy Trinity host a field day, which includes a water balloon fight with teachers. Hicks and her classmates have talked about their plans for the balloon fight for years, but the event was canceled. The friends she has had for years are distant. With not everyone in her class going to the same high school, Hicks recognizes there may be friends she won’t see anymore.

Academically, she feels confident. “Our workload is consistent,” said Hicks, who will be a freshman at Jesuit High School in the fall. “I feel like we handled the change really well.”

For Hicks, parishioner at Holy Trinity, another challenge has been not being able to go to Mass. Hicks “began to understand God and my relationship with him this year.” She added that she can still do that at home, but it’s not the same as worshipping side by side with everyone in her community.

Despite the difficulty of her not-quite-complete eighth grade year, Hicks is looking forward to starting high school.

“I fell excited about it. It’s still a new chapter in our lives,” said Hicks. She’s anticipating being able to participate in the activities freshman get to do in the fall.

Holy Trinity’s graduation plans include a recorded Mass and hosting a drive-through diploma handout on June 8.