Last week changed the lives of millions of people across America. Supermarket shelves are empty, all classes are canceled nationwide and social distancing has Americans stuck at home. COVID-19 has changed our way of life, for the time being. In my case, the disruptions started the day I found out all of the college classes are going to transition to an online format. This news wasn’t brought to my attention through a formal email from my college but from my Instagram feed. I waited 4 hours until the President of Buffalo State sent out an email confirming the changes, but it was still unclear how graduating seniors will walk the stage in May. When I enrolled in college 4 years ago, I never expected such a drastic event to occur.
A week after the news was announced, it is still not certain if the commencement ceremony that I have been working for all this time will happen. This ceremony is more than just getting my degree and shaking a hand. This is for my family who has supported me the entire way. This is for my nieces to show that girls can do whatever they put their minds to. This is for my ancestors that could have only dreamed of the ability to know how to read. Even though I know that the decisions being made the Governor are for the best, it hurts to know I will lose out on an experience I’ve been looking forward to for years.
There is some light at the end of this tunnel. I am so grateful for all of the experiences and friends I have made these last 4 years. I learned so much about myself being so far from home and skills that I will take with me forever. Additionally, distance learning will allow me to have a longer buffer period from graduation and stepping into the “real world”. I have taken several online classes before, so this transition won’t be as difficult for me. I am even hearing rumors of graduation being online this year! Obviously, it won’t be the same but its better than nothing. Although my graduation has most likely been taken, my memories will last a lifetime.