Of course, gathering in a gymnasium or sports stadium for a graduation ceremony is a widely known feature of late spring. But thanks to COVID-19, schools are forced to change all of that.
The abrupt end to the spring semester shocked many college students. And for graduating seniors — not many thought that was the last time they would be walking down the halls of their schools. “It feels a lot like we closed the door, and did not know we were leaving… it was exactly kind of like that.”
While some schools are waiting until next year to honor this year’s class, others — like Saint Michael’s College — are holding virtual graduations.
“St. Michael’s is a very close nit community, very high personal touch, and so we really miss not being able to have this ceremony in person. But this definitely was the next best thing. It was a beautiful tribute to the class of 2020,” says President Lorraine Sterritt.
Katelynn Briere, a graduating senior, helped facilitate the online graduation. “The virtual graduation is really nice, because at this time in our lives we need some sort of closure, and we cant wait a whole year to like wait to move on from college. We have to kind of get that closure and move on.”
Despite not being together in person, Briere says she thinks the graduation was still effective in making memories, in its own way. “Even though this isn’t what we all hoped it would be, it still brought all of the emotions. It brought, tears and laughter and embarrassment and all of the other graduation emotions up for us.”
They are still hoping to gather in June of next year during their reunion, for an in person celebration.