How this year’s graduates have been affected by Covid-19



The coronavirus has affected many people. 2020 high school and college graduates are an example of this.  This was supposed to be a happy, memorable time of graduations for them, but now it will be memorable because of the coronavirus. 

Graduates won’t feel the same sense of accomplishment since they won’t be able to walk the stage.  After putting in so much effort and looking forward to end of the year traditions, they are missing out on the same rites of passage of past graduates due to the coronavirus.

Though these graduates aren’t going through the same rituals as past graduates, they are still trying to make the best of the situation. For example, these graduates have been mentioned and congratulated various times through any media possible, including TV.  This may not have been the way the graduates had imagined their graduation but it’s the best for following the norms of distance learning because of Covid-19. There has recently been a show called Graduate Together: America Honors the Class of 2020 which was about honoring the Class of 2020. 

Alondra Banda, who will be graduating from Animo Ralph Bunche, shared how the coronavirus is effecting her graduation plans.  She won’t get the experience of having an actual graduation, instead having a virtual one.

Alondra’s senior year changed because she had complete her graduation requirements online, such as finishing her classes and having her senior exit interview.

“The changes of my graduation left me really distraught because I worked really hard to graduate and become the valedictorian and even though I still got to say my speech, being recorded saying my speech was not the same as saying it in front of hundreds of people. It broke my heart that my family and I don’t get to see me cross the stage. My family was really disappointed that they weren’t going to see me cross the stage but they’ve remained positive for me. They’ve told me that I still have more graduations and are just happy that I’m getting my diploma.”

While at first Alondra was relieved by the break from school, she didn’t imagine that if would effect graduation.  

“I could have never imagined that my high school graduation would be affected by the coronavirus. When they announced that we were going to be out of school for a month, I was actually relieved because I got to take a break from senior year, but I never thought it would get so bad that my graduation would be cancelled and that I won’t get to know what that feels like.”

Lindsey Solares is graduating from the Santa Monica College /ELAC Respiratory Therapy Program.  She said that Covid-19 had a great effect on her clinical education.

“My classmates and I were taken out of our clinical sites, cutting us short in our clinical hours. These hours that we do in the hospital help us learn by allowing us to apply what we learn in a classroom to a real-life situation.”

Her family was at first relieved when she was taken out of clinical site.

“My family was very worried when I was still going to the hospital to do my clinical rotations. When I was taken out of the clinical site my family was a bit more relieved.”

In order to graduate, however, students need to complete a required amount clinical hours in a hospital per semester.

“In terms of me graduating on time or not, they don’t mind how long it takes for me to graduate as long as I am ok.” 

Still, graduating online just won’t have the same meaning for her as when she graduated high school

She said, “The difference was that for my high school graduation I got to walk the stage and have my family witness my accomplishment of finishing high school. I am the first to graduate college in my family so I am a little sad that they are not going to attend a college graduation ceremony or a pinning ceremony.”

Micheal Tambasco, who graduated from SUNY Potsdam in upstate New York in May, found the end of his time in college to be a “bummer.” 

Compared to graduating high school, he said “Something about “I graduated college” is different because you picked to go there. You don’t really get to pick to go to grade school.  It really is just a bummer that I couldn’t attend my college graduation or even get a picture in my cap and gown at school. They shipped them too late to even send in a picture of you in it, so it was all very sad.”

Michael’s family had planned for graduation since he began college, and were disappointed that coronavirus affected those plans.

“Since freshman year we had plans to invite certain people up to see my ceremony and we planned everything down to the smallest things. We even picked out what hotel room we were staying at, so when we heard we weren’t having in person graduation, we were extremely sad.  It was literally a four-year plan of action that got destroyed in one day.”   

From affecting how they learned to not being able to celebrate their graduation in-person with family, life has changed a lot for these high school and college graduates.