In the presence of the coronavirus, the world has changed its way of operating. Most of the population was in need of isolation in order to take care of their health. All kinds of face-to-face events were canceled and among them university graduations.
Thousands of students had been dreaming of this moment for years and did not expect changes in their graduation ceremony. When the virus was declared a pandemic, thousands of things began to go through the students’ heads, questions that were constantly going through their minds and that later became anxiety in the face of uncertainty, not knowing what was going to happen “are we leaving to graduate or not? Will we miss the opportunity to share the last year with our colleagues? Can’t we say goodbye to our teachers or have our big prom night? ”
This is an important date that cannot be overlooked in the universities, all the students have strived every day to get ahead in their studies to not receive the proper recognition for their effort.
So, following the indications of mandatory isolation, the world has turned to virtual events. Many institutions continue to postpone graduations in hopes of having the traditional ceremony later, but the possibilities are not too optimistic. Other institutions chose to use the virtual system for students, from their homes, to achieve recognition of their graduations through a videoconference with their relatives accompanying them.
For their part, universities in Japan and the United States created robots to celebrate virtual graduations, to make students feel as real as possible this important moment in their lives. Students connect while these robots line up to pick up the diploma and take a picture with the dean of their faculty.
What do students think about these virtual proms?
A report by the student newspaper The Daily Universe where some seniors were interviewed at Brigham Young University (BYU) located in Provo, Utah, USA, showing how it is affecting them and how it will affect them, tells us some stories of these students:
Keena Kleven, a senior in her illustration career, said the aftermath of Covid 19 has greatly affected her final project and post-graduation plans.
Kleven said they worked hard for years, researching and spending hours on their final project. After all the effort to get it ready by the stipulated date in March, they announced that the art exhibition would be canceled because of the pandemic. “Being in the field of art is not the best career to have when the economy collapses. Studios have been closing, companies are not hiring. “
She had plans to graduate alongside her sister who has been in and out of the hospital while still getting her degree.
Despite the consequences that Covid 19 has brought, Kleven said it helps reassure herself that someday this will pass.
But it is not the only case, Donna Jo Smith, an atypical 60-year-old BYU student, was due to graduate in April with her son Logan Smith. “I took the step of graduating so that my son and I could graduate and walk together,” said Smith. “I just thought it would have been very memorable and much more special.“
Donna Jo Smith spent years waiting for this unique moment for her, she had to put it off several times in her life in order to raise her 5 children. But this did not stop her and with the support of her husband she managed to reach this great dream that sadly was canceled because of Covid 19.
Although this would not be an impediment for her and her son, she still plans to buy caps and gowns to celebrate her big day as expected. Although on the other hand, Smith says it is sad to see that her classmates are uncheerful about not being able to take this step as planned throughout their career. “Although it saddens me not to have a graduation experience or not to be able to say goodbye to my teachers, I feel bad for younger people because maybe it will affect them more. But we will succeed and everything will be fine. ”
So students worldwide have managed to cope with mandatory isolation. It’s not as the universities hoped to celebrate graduation ceremonies, but they’ve brought out their creative side and gone to great lengths to make their students feel it as real as possible on this day so yearned for, in recognition of several years of effort. Although there are mixed feelings throughout this process, which is very understandable, support from home is essential.
How to show support?
- Prepare for a roller coaster of emotions
- Understand that if there is a history of anxiety or depression the symptoms will be more marked
- You have to recognize that what they are feeling is real and important, rather than avoiding or minimizing it
- Having empathy with them and accepting feelings and frustration, as well as having compassion for what they manifest is important
- Offer perspective. We are all in this, others live in more serious situations, a lot of people are dying, many students are losing their parents or grandparents.
- Help them understand that this story will be written in history and they decide how they want their names to be written in it.
How to celebrate?
- Car parade with graduates and their families.
- Decorate their front door with images of your friends and classmates, so everyone can go see and leave a present for the graduates.
- Celebrate at home with dinner and cake, clearly with all the necessary precautions and if possible only with a few relatives.
- Virtual celebrations.
- Home degree ceremony.
Tell us about your case. How do you live this issue of graduation in quarantine at home?