We at KBIA have found strength in our community during the COVID crisis. In our series, “Where You’re At,” we’re talking to our family and friends to see how their coping during the pandemic.
Here is Olivia Moses’ call with Stacy Rohan, a journalist and college graduate from Missouri Baptist University:
What were your initial thoughts when you knew that your graduation was going to be something different from an in-person commencement and how did you feel like with that being kind of taken?
Yeah, well, I was super, very sad at first, obviously still bummed. I'm just starting to accept it now, I guess. But at first, I was really sad. And it was shocking, for sure, because I've never seen…nothing like this has ever happened that I've been able to experience. So it was really weird. It was seemed so sudden. And yeah, I'm sad. It's sad not having that closure. Not getting to finish out your last semester as a student, ever potentially.
And do feel you feel any less of a graduate not having that ceremony and not being able to celebrate in that way?
Yeah, definitely. It's weird. You know, when you have that ceremony that's obvious, like a concrete representation of being a graduate and celebrating that day in that accomplishment and all that. I don't have my diploma yet because they're mailing it. Plus with school being online whenever I was finished. It's like it just stopped. It just stopped so suddenly, the school year, and I didn't feel that big transformation, like, “this is the end of one chapter and now, the beginning of the next.” It just kind of all feels the same. I don't feel all that different, yet.
Do you think that maybe not having that perfect closing to the end of this chapter will affect the beginning of your new chapter like, you know, your future career and kind of what you have planned for that, like how did what happened with this kind of like affect what you think will happen in the future?
I don't think it will have any concrete effect on my future career as far as well finding a job of course, with the economy and everything happening right now so that’ll affect me. But the only other way I think that not having that ceremony and not finishing out the school year (not getting to do that) will affect me moving forward is just kind of accepting and understanding I am a graduate. I did have that. I did just complete that big chapter of my life and, you know, just kind of, what is the word, motivate myself and find confidence in that knowing that I am a graduate. I did succeed through college just like everyone else, even though it looked a lot different and feels a lot different.