It's official, my school, as well as all the public universities in the state, are moving to remote learning for the rest of the semester. While some students may be jumping for joy that they essentially can continue working in their pajamas, my heart feels like it was ripped out of my chest and stomped on leaving me feeling slightly empty. My senior year, something I have been counting down to, has essentially been taken away.
Now I understand there are worse things to be concerned about then something as selfish as senior year. People are getting sick, some dying, and others are isolated from their families because of risks associated with those who are immunocompromised. But think about all the students who have worked tirelessly over the past four years, sometimes more, to have the opportunity to walk across their school's stage and earn that diploma. Think of the students who dreamed of taking corny graduation photos displaying their hard work. Think of all the silly benefits and milestones senior year brings to students across this county.
I finished my senior year of high school remotely and it was far from fun. Never in a million years did I think I would be finishing my senior year of college the same way.
For college students who this new way of learning affects, I am so sorry. I know that offers little consolation since you deserve recognition for working as hard as you did. If you wanted to graduate later than you could have taken some of the past semesters easier, you didn't have to fill your course schedule and max out the number of credits. But who could have seen this coming?
Senior year of college is full of "lasts" and students were robbed on those experiences. Instead of having time to prepare ourselves, to grieve and get ready to grow up, we missed the opportunity to say goodbye. We missed the chance to thank the professors who changed our lives and made a lasting impression. I missed the opportunity to say goodbye to the place that helped shape us and prepare us for the next steps we would take in the world.
People around the world are struggling in different ways. Some have temporarily lost their jobs, our economy is falling, people are stuck in different countries and can't get home. Our lives have been uprooted.
If you know a college senior, don't tell them to have a frame of reference on this subject, Give them the hug they need to temporarily mourn the loss of their college experience.