North Country student shares song about class of 2020

Published: Jun. 17, 2020 at 6:54 PM EDT
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Graduation for the class of 2020 will be anything but traditional. For many seniors, it's hard to put the feeling of what they are missing out on because of COVID-19 into words.

"Your last moments together, one last time before you go your separate ways. I was really looking forward to that," said Rachel Coughlin, a senior at Peru Central School.

Coughlin found a way to express what she was feeling.

"I've always loved words, I've always loved writing," she said.

Coughlin put her thoughts, her feelings down on paper.

"I was really emotional about it in the beginning," she said.

And with some tech on her iPhone, she recorded those emotions into a song.

"It's a hard song to sing," she said.

The song, titled "Personal," is an emotional ballad she dedicated to the other seniors walking in the same shoes.

"I wanted it to be relatable for everyone in the class of 2020," Coughlin said. "I wrote this in March when it was just, what is going to happen? I don't know. I was so sad then but now I'm just happy for what I do have."

She says writing songs help her cope with troubles that she faces.

"By writing down what I feel, I'm understanding how I feel. With understanding how I feel, I can eventually move on from those feelings," she explained.

Coughlin has moved on and she's getting used to this new normal that everyone is facing, but she was surprised by the support her song has received since she released it last week.

"[More than 2,000] views in a like a week. My other videos have like 50, so I was kind of freaking out," she said.

Her graduating class will have the opportunity to walk across the stage wearing in a cap and a gown, wrapping up a school year that will live on forever in history books.

Coughlin will continue her love for music at Elon University come fall as a music production and recording arts major. She says she's looking forward to the new experience, mask and all.

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