Opinion: Virtual graduation is not the same

Graduation graphic. Photo courtesy google vector silhouette

For some, graduating from college is one of the biggest days in their life; its a major accomplishment.

Being the first to obtain a degree in my family is a big deal for me, and after talking to a few other FAMU students, I realized they feel the same way.

May 1, 2020 has been the day of my dreams since I stepped foot on FAMUs campus. It would have been the day I finally had the chance to sit in my own graduation ceremony while my friends and family members cheered me on.

Things were going great up until the week of spring break. I had a great trip planned, I was passing all of my classes and the countdown to graduation was on.

Then I learned the heartbreaking news of a new virus, COVID-19, that would be dangerous and easily spread between people. Suddenly, schools, jobs and businesses were being told to shut down.

No one knew how deadly COVID-19 would be or when it would end.

Senior information technology student Marquis Bryant said, Not being able to have a graduation was a little more personal, being the first person in my household to have this moment. It hurt to have it taken away. Also, I didnt get the chance to walk at my high school graduation for other personal reasons, so this would have been my first ceremony. This would have been my familys first ceremony to see me at.

“However, a ceremony wont stop me from being proud of what I earned. Ceremony or not, I earned my 120 credits and I will receive my degree. This was a very bittersweet moment and Im happy to finally be done.”

Graduation is a time to celebrate, cry, and reflect on the hard work put forth during our collegiate years.

I feel kind of upset about not having a graduation ceremony. Ive attended FAMU for five years and have gone through so much. Being able to walk across the stage was a big deal to me, but I completely understand why the school has decided to do a virtual commencement,” psychology student Zarria Geene said.

Some school officials have promised spring graduates there would be a date in the near future for them to be recognized and celebrated. Others are still pending their decisions.

Today, I and many other graduates across the world are torn. There is no graduation ceremony for us, only a virtual celebration.