How coronavirus distresses a student in the class of 2020

The race to the finish line becomes bittersweet as all the late-night studying, mounds of homework and Scantron tests slowly come to an end as a senior in college, but there’s one thing getting in the way of the celebration and ceremony this year — COVID-19. 

This pandemic has taken not only the world by storm but specifically the class of 2020.

Being a student can be considered a full-time job when there’s always something to be working on in school. 

With very little time to share with friends and family, graduation is a ceremony that brings loved ones together to celebrate a student’s accomplishments. 

As a senior at Cal Poly Pomona, the coronavirus has affected me personally. 

I moved to Southern California from a small town in Iowa to pursue my dreams as a journalist. 

As an only child, it was a sacrifice for my parents to let their one and only daughter move far away from home. 

I am also a first-generation graduate, so graduation is a tremendous milestone to my family. I don’t get the privilege to come home and see my parents every day as opposed to some students. 

My parents looked forward to watching me walk up on stage in my cap and gown to get my diploma. 

The FaceTime calls between us went from being happy and hopeful to distraught and disappointed in a split second as the email was sent out that graduation is postponed due to the coronavirus. 

Even if my parents could travel to see me, there are several factors to consider. One being the biggest question: “When is graduation going to happen?” And the biggest risk would be to travel and possibly catch the coronavirus as the pandemic is rapidly spreading throughout the nation. 

As the pandemic spreads, the sorrow grows. 

I graduated high school in 2013 and moved for better opportunities outside of my town of 9,000 people. I took extra time in community college due to having to work full-time to pay for tuition. Transferring to a university was the most exciting part of my educational journey. 

All I ever looked forward to was earning my bachelor’s degree from a university. 

I’ve had the best college experience at Cal Poly Pomona and it made me eagerly anticipate graduating as a Bronco. 

Graduating is one of the biggest milestones that one can experience and this pandemic will strip that away from me. I am currently left with questions that can’t be answered.

My education’s storybook ending turned into a nightmare. 

My dream to walk the stage to receive my diploma has been put on a pause that might not get the play button pushed. 

These are all things that run through my head constantly as I’m trying to finish my last weeks here at CPP.

With the coronavirus, every day is different, and it is clear that being in quarantine has become the new normal. 

Although my family is still proud of my accomplishments and the hard work that I’ve put in, I will receive my diploma one way or another. 

But all I can say is, “It isn’t the same.” 

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