Thanks to Social Media, I know a lot of people who at the beginning of the year were so excited to start their last semester of college. They kept talking about the last few classes they had to take, about the plans they had after college, and about how ready they were to begin life as a graduate. But above all, Seniors were extremely excited to walk the stage during their graduation ceremony. For different reasons, all valid of course, students look forward to celebrating their graduation at the end of their last semester. Due to the current global pandemic, this semester’s graduation was postponed or —in some rare cases— completely cancelled. If this is your case, everything you are feeling is completely valid.
The Meaning of the Graduation Ceremony
When you start college, you know that the end goal is your graduation. It does not matter how long it takes, every student wants to graduate at the highest of their capacity. Therefore, the Graduation Ceremony is a huge event that holds a big meaning. During that day, you get to celebrate all of your achievements, the challenges you faced, the struggles you overcame, and all the goals you reached. We all come together to show our family and friends how proud we are of everything we have done. Every all-nighter, tear you shed, and panic attack you had is worth it because you finally got the diploma you so badly wanted. That Graduation Ceremony is what every graduate deserves.
Every student looks forward to graduation but there is a group of students who look forward to it maybe a little bit more. First Generation students are those who are the first in their family to go to college. For them, going to school is thanks to their families’ sacrifices and they carry a different sense of pride. Graduation is not just about the struggles they were able to overcome during college but about the struggles their families were able to overcome throughout their lives. The Ceremony is a party for the entire family who gets to celebrate that their lives are changing and they were able to give their children the future they always wanted. Missing this day —or even having to share it with another class due to it being postponed— can make students feel very upset for themselves and for their families.
Sad and Disappointed but Proud
All the feelings you have right now —whether First Generation or not— are completely valid. You probably feel sad, disappointed, and lost. You all worked so hard to graduate and you may feel like they are taking that away from you. As valid as all your feelings are, it is also valid to continue to feel proud of yourself. Doing your last semester online does not take away from all the hard work you did during your college career; studying online is just as good, valid, and important as an in-person class. What matters is that you continue to put in the work, do your assignments, and show how important this major is for you. Do not let the sadness and disappointment take away from the pride you should be feeling.
The current global situation can be very discouraging for students and even more so if you are a senior. Feeling like you are being robbed of your achievements because your graduation is being postponed is an understandable feeling. You wanted to have that special moment to share with your friends, family, and classmates; to celebrate yourself and your achievements. It can be terribly sad and disappointing to see that being pushed away but do not let that erase all the work you have done so far. You have worked extremely hard for many semesters and nothing can take that away. As hard as it may be, try to continue looking forward to your graduation —whenever it may be— and still use it as a celebration of your achievements, your hard work, and your dedication. You earned this moment of pride and a pandemic cannot take that away from you.
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