• College On Tap

My Virtual Graduation Experience

When I first heard I was virtually graduating, all I could think was, "Seriously? All this work and I can't even walk across the stage to accept my diploma?" I had never been to a college graduation before, so I did not know what to expect. Then again, all of my peers were in the same boat because even if they had seen a sibling or family member graduate from college, our experience would not be the traditional college graduation. Graduation day came around and all I could think about was how lucky I was to be surrounded by my family, who went above and beyond to make my graduation day so special from our home. I would not have changed one thing about my college graduation experience. Who would have thought Coronavirus was a blessing in disguise.

Positives to a Virtual Graduation

1. You are surrounded by family and loved ones. Obviously it would have been nice to share this momentous occasion with my peers, but graduating from home allowed me to celebrate with the people who supported me financially and mentally throughout my time at college. As they say, "Your family is the best team you could ever have."

2. Your pets can see you graduate! This may be one of the biggest positives of a virtual graduation. I have two boxers and they are filled with energy. They would have never been able to attend my graduation if it was in person. Since we were at home, I made sure to dress them in the perfect college attire!

3. It is more intimate. Graduating at home allowed my family and I the opportunity to fully celebrate the entire day. Of course it would have been nice to graduate on campus, but following graduation we would have had dinner and then traveled six hours back to our home state. Sitting in a car for six hours is not exactly the most fun activity to do after you graduate college.

4. Family members who would not have seen me graduate on campus, had the opportunity to watch the live stream or see me in person in my cap and gown. My grandmother is 98 years old and would not have been able to attend my graduation nor see the live stream. However, graduating virtually allowed me the opportunity to visit her through the window of her nursing home in my cap and down. A moment in my life that I was so happy I got to share with her.

5. It reminds you that life is not linear or always uphill. Everyone goes into college thinking about walking across that stage to receive their diploma, but life is unexpected, and you must make the most out of every situation and opportunity you are blessed with.

Negatives to a Virtual Graduation

1. Your parents do not get the opportunity to meet your professors.

2. You do not get to graduate with your peers. I attended a very small college where the graduating class was about 450 students. I knew about 3/4 of my graduating class and celebrating that moment with your peers who have seen you at your worst and at your best would have been an extremely memorable moment.

3. You do not get to walk across the stage and receive your diploma, the very thing that you have worked your entire college career for. At least they mail it to you, right??

4. You do not get the closure you hoped for.

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