Letter to 2020 Graduates

Since the beginning of higher education, graduation has taken place all over the world to transition seniors to alumni. From taking photos around campus to celebrating with loved ones, nothing can replace the joy of walking across that stage knowing a new chapter of life has just begun. With ceremonies taking place annually through rain or shine, who would ever imagine graduation would be postponed?

Dear 2020 Graduate,

With the unprecedented effects of COVID-19, this spring semester has been difficult and challenging for every student, especially you. You had no idea that Russell House meal between classes, the late-night study session in Thomas Cooper, or the walk through the horseshoe with friends before spring break would be a few of your last undergraduate experiences. It truly feels like you have to close a chapter without even getting to say goodbye.

With the sadness of college ending and potential anxiousness for the future, you may feel sad, lonely and confused. As upsetting as this season of life may be, here’s your reminder to stay strong. Hearing popular sayings like “diamonds are made from pressure” and “its darkest before dawn” may not completely heal how your heart feels right now, and that is okay. What’s important to remember is that just because something is delayed, doesn’t mean it is denied. Even though you won’t get to experience your ceremony this weekend, August will bring so much joy and celebration of all your accomplishments. It is apparent you and your peers have worked so hard these past four years. The organizations, events, internships and other experiences have not only given you memories, but they have also shaped you into who you are today. Even though what you are experiencing isn’t fun, like sitting in Willy B with friends or attending the Cockstock performance, this is another season that has shaped you.

So, here’s to you…who is probably feeling the sadness of not walking this weekend or experiencing the uncertainty of the economy’s effects. May you remember that you are stronger because of this season and what is delayed is certainly not denied.