Congratulations grad, you did it! You finished that last paper, passed that last exam, and made it through all of the crazy days and long nights you never thought you would. Four years, or maybe more, flew by in the blink of an eye and here you are, ready to throw on your cap and gown while celebrating one of your biggest accomplishments to date. Only one things stands between you and walking that stage, COVID-19.
I'm sure you're well aware, but unfortunately the tail end of your college journey was thrown for a loop by a national pandemic. COVID-19 swept the nation in March, right before some of you were set to graduate. Instead of it being the extended Spring break we all were hoping for when hearing about this, it drastically changed the course of the remainder of your education. Senior toasts, bar crawls, final internships and classes all went virtual, along with your graduation ceremony. Although you were able to have about 3 years of college to enjoy, there's just nothing like the last few months of college and I am sorry you didn't get to experience them to their full potential.
Many people actually don't even go to college graduation, or they skip their senior events, but it's one thing to choose not to go and a completely different thing to not even have the option. After years of hard work, you are all owed a real, traditional, in-person opportunity to walk the stage and have a full graduation ceremony along side all those fun senior events you weren't able to have. Although this cannot be done safely right now, let's hope that there will be a time in the future for you to celebrate your amazing accomplishments. For now, many colleges and universities are doing their best to offer graduation simulations and virtual ceremonies.
While this may not be the graduation you ever hoped for or envisioned, it's reality. Even though this is obviously not an ideal culmination of your college experience, you can only step back and be grateful you made it through this crazy year of 2020, with a diploma nonetheless. Don’t let a pandemic as selfish as COVID-19 overshadow your accomplishments and years of hard work! So college graduate, remember that everyone is proud of you and can't wait to see where your college degree takes you after this insane year of 2020. Congratulations, grad!