What Does Graduation Mean To Students?

COVID isn’t just a national crisis but also a defining moment for graduates. Due to the pandemic, GCC couldn’t hold a live ceremony for the graduating class of 2021. Graduates were acknowledged virtually while finishing their senior class remotely. Recently, some restrictions have been lifted, and more in-person classes have been offered. That has led some students to question whether GCC will have a live ceremony this year. School officials did not respond to an interview request and have yet to make a statement.

Graduation represents a new beginning and is a transition from adolescence to adulthood. It signifies true independence and the beginning of a new chapter. Many students are saddened by the thought of not being recognized for their achievements and not being able to walk across the stage.

Cathy Chen, a business major and an international student, said she feels let down because she worked hard while being away from her family. “Graduation is important to me because my family sacrificed a lot to send me to school in a foreign country,” Chen said.

Janis Ortiz, a criminal justice major, also agrees, adding that graduation is important for families, especially for first-generation graduates. “My family never had a reason to go to a graduation ceremony until this year.” Although many students, including Chen and Ortiz, are looking forward to having a ceremony, some students are less eager.

Chris Vaan, a nursing major, said graduation isn’t necessary during a national pandemic. “I don’t think it’s smart to have gatherings because not everyone is vaccinated or willing to put on a mask.” He also said, “Graduation is just an experience and another reason to party and catch COVID-19.” The pandemic has affected many students’ lives and futures. A graduation ceremony is a tradition that many students look forward to celebrating.

GCC students will finish this semester remotely and school officials will work on offering more in-person classes to better fit student needs. The question still remains, will there be a graduation ceremony this academic year? https://www.glendale.edu/students/return-campus-students