Graduation thoughts during COVID-19

Sharon Valverde Vargas

Photo courtesy of Piqsel
Photo courtesy of Piqsel

I sit here on my couch, thinking about how I will be graduating in 13 days. Three years ago, I definitely didn’t see myself graduating. My life at that time was consumed with partying and wasting my time doing the wrong things.

Nevertheless, I can proudly say I am happy with this accomplishment. I worked hard and pushed myself, taking 18 credits for two years straight just to graduate. I saw 2020 as being a big year for me to celebrate my accomplishments, but unfortunately, things turned upside down for many of us.

So yes, there are days when I shed a few tears because I may not have that moment of feeling proud and excited to walk with my dear peers, with whom I have built amazing relationships. COVID-19 took that opportunity away.

It may seem dramatic to some, but to me it was important, and that alone matters.

All I can do is accept that I can’t change the situation we are living in right now. I wasn’t only excited to graduate. I was excited because, for once in my life, I was going to have my Papí watching my biggest accomplishment.

He was going to be here, coming from Costa Rica, along with all my brothers. For once, I was going to be around my whole family, sharing a moment of pure bliss. I can only imagine how beautiful it was going to be.

For some, it is not a big deal and I respect that, but I’m sure I speak for a lot of students.

While this situation has turned into memes and jokes surfacing on social media threads, for some it really hurts, and it’s hard to believe.

I can’t help but count down the days until I graduate. It does matter. Hundreds and hundreds of hours of studying, projects, tears, stress, giving up and continuing, mistakes, perseverance and devotion are about to come to a triumphant close.

I can’t help but feel that I’m not really graduating, even though I am.

My head is up though.

There is something about college that you can’t help but hold dear to your heart. It’s been a beautiful experience and for that reason my plan is to return soon and pursue my master’s degree.

I hope each graduate gets their moment of recognition, whether that is shared with the school, with friends or at home with loved ones. I do look forward to that, and I will be sharing this moment with my loved ones.

So, let me personally say congratulations to all of the upcoming Weber State graduates. Only we know what we have gone through to get to this moment, and that deserves a lot of respect.