BY: SYDNEY JOHNSON, STAFF WRITER
Coronavirus has completely shocked the entire world. It feels as though the way we operate as a society is being put on pause. Unfortunately, one aspect of this disruption is that it has altered graduation for college seniors.
I am not a senior myself nor do I take this situation lightly, but I want to use my platform to address what it has done to this demographic. The possibility of commencement being canceled along with other student events and social functions has come into consideration.
Now, this anticipation of being sent off into the real world, the formal and traditional lifestyle of being a college senior, has been taken away from them. And now it must feel as though they are lost, almost as if they have lost a sense of self. The dreams that they always had for senior year have now dissolved into the unknown of what is to come.
During this time I want every college senior to realize that their feelings are valid. That grieving over the certain circumstances that have taken place because of coronavirus is okay. It’s okay to be sad to have your final moments as a college senior with your friends, it’s okay to be sad that commencement will not be conducted the same way that it normally is, it’s okay to be sad that the end of your senior year will not be what you imagined.
“There are so many opportunities I know I will never be able to get back and I’m trying to find ways to cope with that,” said senior Keirsten Robinson. “This situation obviously isn’t ideal for anyone and I hope that someday I’ll be able to find the closure I seek to adequately close out this chapter of my life.”
Colleges across the nation, like Mason, are taking precautionary steps in response to coronavirus for the betterment of everyone’s safety and wellbeing. Sacrificing things like commencement feels like it’s stripping the purpose away from the entirety of senior year. Yet these measures being taken in response to the rate of coronavirus cases occurring in our nation are needed. I urge that these precautions being made by Mason and other schools in the country be taken seriously to protect the health of every member of this society.
The past four years of hard work and dedication you’ve put towards getting your degree should not go unnoticed because of the possibility of having a graduation ceremony. I want college seniors to understand that their impact in the Mason community or at any other institution that they attended will always matter.
In the end, it will all be okay. In the foreseeable future, it will feel weird to think, “Wow, I didn’t walk across the stage for my college graduation,” but it will be an unforgettable, unique way to end off your college career. Completion is completion and at the end of the day your years as an undergrad student will always be special and will always matter.