Medical mask on letter board with DON'T PANIC spelled out.

A Very Covid Commencement

The rollercoaster of emotions that COVID-19 has brought us all have not been easy to deal with. But it important to know that we are in this together and keep hope that we can all find some solidarity.

COVID-19 has brought it a lot of uncertainty, and this should not be minimized in any way. For many college students, especially seniors, this spring semester will always be one to remember. Students were settled in, anticipating the feeling of enjoying the time that they would spend with their friends. Everyone had their own expectations of how it would go, but unfortunately those dreams were taken away too quickly for anyone to deal with it properly. Moving back home, onto online classes and being away from friends was not easy.

For international students such as myself, being thousands of miles away from home in the middle of a pandemic was frightening. Sitting in front of the faculty of the school, or reading an email that informed students that the residence halls would be closing, and subsequently figuring out what to do was stressful me for and my friends Airports emptied, flights were cancelled, and residence halls were closed within a matter of days, leaving students such a myself with many quick decisions and adjustments to make. Given the overwhelming amount of information my classmates had to deal with, the way in which many coped with it was amazing. They knew that they were all in the same position, they united and helped each other through a difficult time. Saying a “see you later” to those who would not be returning the following year was likely a tough moment for them all.

COVID-19 has brought with it many losses. For seniors, missing out on their last semester with their friends, as well as graduation and everything else that comes with that, was devastating. Grieving that loss is sure to be painful. But there have also been many positive additions that can be taken away from this pandemic. While there may not be the parties and celebrations that many wanted for themselves and others, seniors can now tell the stories of how COVID-19 shaped the end of their schooling and presented them with challenges to overcome.

In times such as these it is important to remember a few things:

  • Listen to how you are feeling, and to accept wherever it is that you are. Some people will say that your opinion is invalid since there are people dying due to this outbreak. But your opinions and feelings are valid regardless of the situation.
  • Give help and support to others when you can.
  • Be grateful for the health of yourself and of others.
  • Trust that there will be more fun times ahead.
  • Have faith that with chaos and uncertainty comes calm and ease.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay hopeful.