Opinion: So, I really don’t get to walk for graduation?


The coronavirus has done some real damage to the start of 2020.

Tens of thousand of people have been affected, leading to a nearly nationwide quarantine.

It is extremely difficult to come to grips with how the world is now.

The state of the universe is in question, which doesn’t exactly leave any of us at ease.

My normal now has become so foreign.

I can no longer go to the gym, class, work or my internship.

Fellow students can no longer continue their spring semester.

All there is to do these days is homework, watch Netflix, try and work out at home, check social media for hours on end and eat … constantly.

Since my return from New York earlier this month, life has pretty much done a 360.

I went to New York with six other Varsity News staff members March 11-15 for a college media conference.

We all knew the coronavirus was getting serious, but none of us knew exactly what to expect when we landed back in Detroit.

While in New York, our emails were going crazy.

We were receiving email after email about the coronavirus and how it was in fact going to impact our school and state.

First, students were advised to leave campus and return to their permanent residence.

Next, classes were halted for faculty to figure out how to move all courses online. 

Then, after returning, we began online classes, which essentially means I will be video chatting from my bed until graduation.

My spring semester – my final semester in college – is practically cancelled.

But the email that really shook me – the one I was expecting and dreading – arrived in my inbox more recently.

It read, “The President’s Council has decided to postpone the May 8 and 9 McNichols Campus, School of Law and School of Dentistry 2020 Commencement Ceremonies.”

I knew this email would eventually come, but I had hoped it wouldn’t.

While concerned for all people during this pandemic, I am incredibly disappointed at not being able to walk across the stage to finally earn the degree for which I worked tirelessly.

It just sucks.

I know I’m not the only one with this feeling and I’m sure others don’t really care to walk the stage to graduate.

But I wanted to walk.

I wanted to walk across that stage, wave at my family and take my diploma.

I wanted my family to see the last grandchild graduate on one side of the family and to see the second grandchild to graduate on the other side of the family.

I wanted to see the look in my parents’ eyes when they saw their last child graduate.

I was looking forward to graduation.

It was going to be an exciting day for me and for so many other students.

It is honestly hard to fully understand why these precautions are taking place and why events months from now are being cancelled or postponed.

While I understand this virus is far more serious than expected, did we really need to prematurely take action to postpone so many college graduations months early?

Since the severity of COVID-19 remains somewhat up in the air, it is hard to think of an alternative celebration for the class of 2020, and that is really sad.

Being forced to stay home for however long is already hard enough, but now college graduations are in jeopardy due to COVID-19?

This really is a scary time.

I don’t know if I will ever understand these precautions, but it is frustrating to many of us.

For my fellow classmates of 2020, I hope we receive the celebration and recognition we deserve for working so hard these past four years.