GRADUATING DURING A PANDEMIC | TRUTH TALK

First of all, I can’t believe I am done with school. I have officially graduated, and honestly I never I thought I would. To clarify- I knew I would graduate, but I never thought I would go through another graduation ceremony. Back in 2019, I had made up my mind that I was not going to go through all the graduation things again. I had done it once, and honestly felt like I didn’t deserve to do it again and/or it wasn’t as special.

The pandemic changed everything.

At the start of 2020, I was still firm on not going to graduation. My best friend from school, and my boyfriend, were trying to convince me to do it but, I was being very stubborn. When everything with COVID hit and we went into lockdown, my mind started to change. Seeing everyone who had worked so hard not be able to do it was heartbreaking. They had no choice in the matter, and I honestly was emotional over it. So many seniors in high school and college were cheated out of their moments to celebrate.

I then started to think about myself, and how hard I had worked for this degree. This journey was not an easy one for me. I had essentially put my life on hold to go back to school, and worked full time to pay for classes. I deserved to celebrate that. Even though this was my second degree, this one meant more to me because of what I went through to get it. So I decided to attend graduation, but the only catch was that it might not happen because of the pandemic.

I am happy to report that I was very fortunate, and my school was given the green light to have a drive-in commencement.

We were able to bring however many fit in our car, and we were able to walk across a stage to our names being called. We were given special masks when we checked in, and of course had to remain socially distanced throughout the ceremony. It honestly was pretty nice, and I really liked how my school did everything given the circumstances.

This ceremony was definitely a very unique one, and one for the history books. I am incredibly proud of everything that has led to this moment in time. Even though this was not the ceremony I thought I would have, I wouldn’t change the experience for anything. There was so much love and happiness that day. Strangers honked and congratulated me from the streets, and at the ceremony everyone who saw me was so excited that I was graduating along side their loved one. It was truly very touching.

To all those who graduated this year, or last, congrats! Not even a pandemic could stop us!

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