Life After BOMLA: How the Class of 2020 is Embracing the Disruption

Think back to your senior year of high school. What do you remember most – studying for finals, spending time with friends, mapping out your plan for the next four years? For the BOMLA class of 2020, the implications of COVID-19 replaced the traditional year-end experiences with online learning, psychical distancing and even a virtual graduation ceremony.

But the senior class didn’t let these disruptions get them down. Some, like Omar Carrizales, used the extra time at home as an opportunity to dedicate more time to hobbies.

“The past few weeks of online learning brought an opportunity for personal growth,” said Carrizales. “My passion for playing instruments was never consistent because I felt I never had time for it. I was finally able to become consistent in playing the guitar and beginning the piano. I also began small engineering projects to practice problem-solving and developing my analytical thinking.”

Other students saw the changes as just another challenge life brings and leaned on their educational disciplines.

“The habits of mind that have been inculcated into BOMLA brothers are as relevant now as they will ever be,” said Jesus Montero. “Keeping an open mind and remaining flexible aids in making this transition as seamless as possible.”

For Mark Bryan Solano Cruz, the impacts of COVID-19 were a reminder of what society needs – people who step up.

“Living during this moment can help me prepare for the future by having a mindset of being strong mentally,” he said. “The circumstances we are living in need strong people, people who are willing to do the necessary to keep moving forward. This is especially helpful for my future as no complication will stop me from achieving my dreams.”

Solano Cruz plans to attend the University of North Texas this fall to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering. His classmate, Carrizales, plans to attend the University of Michigan to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering, and Montero will attend Northwestern University as a chemical engineering major. As they reflected on their time at BOMLA, their advice to current students ranged from investing in teamwork to making the most out of every day.

“One lesson I’ve learned at BOMLA is that working independently sometimes prevents an individual from hearing an ingenious approach that they may have never considered,” Montero said. “When one has a sound support network a greater result can be achieved since everyone can focus on the certain skill they are gifted with. The combination of these abilities is what constructs an outstanding and unexpected outcome.”

“The advice I give is that everything can change in a second,” Solano Cruz added. “Consequently, do not hesitate to jump to newer levels or take that first step. The days go by fast and you should make every day count.”