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By Hannah McKelvey

Executive Editor

To everyone who is graduating college this May, 

I’m am right there with you. It feels like our world has been flipped upside down. Our time living right next door to our best friends has been cut short. Those two extra months we had to figure everything out? Yeah, that got thrown out the window going 100 mph. 

We have been robbed of our last two months of college, simple as that. As days continue to pass it just gets harder. Last Friday, it felt as if I was evicted from the only place I felt comfortable to call home. I can no longer walk into the room next to mine to see my best friend, who is now a four hour drive away. On Saturday, I said goodbye to my closest friends, not knowing when I will see them again. On Sunday, I twiddled my thumbs, not able to relax on my “spring break” because I still hadn’t heard anything from my professors about what is going on. On Tuesday, I packed up my car, with items for every scenario. Whose house will I stay at this week? On Wednesday, as I sit in a house that I cannot call home, I try to write my senior thesis to the best of my abilities in light of everything. 

As the days move forward and turn into weeks, I think, “Wow this sucks.” I’ve paid all this money, spent all this time working and getting the best grades I could to end the best four years of schooling like this….wow, this really sucks. 

While my life as I know it might be flipped upside down, at least I’m not alone. College seniors all across the United States and possibly the world are going through the same thing. No one could have anticipated this happening when we started our college experience. 

Four years ago I watched the 2017 seniors participate in all the senior traditions, like prom, the wedding, and watching the sunrise on graduation day, a day, I imagined for myself this May. Will I be able to participate in my own graduation, or only have memories of past seniors partaking in the festivities? 

This is much bigger than my senior year; this is much bigger than all of us. While I might miss out on those senior year traditions looking back on this will be like nothing before. Life as we know it has changed and in the grand scheme of things, staying healthy and not spreading a deadly virus is worth more than finishing my senior year with friends, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the moment. 

So , fellow soon-to-be-college-graduates: While we sit in our sorrows, let us be thankful that we still have the opportunity of education in the state of a national emergency and hope that once again we can return to campus with all our friends.

By Leanne Hamilton

Executive Editor

Around this time last week, I remember looking at my planner at the numerous assignments and reminders I had yet to cross off my ‘to do’ list. I felt there weren’t enough hours in the day to get all I needed done before spring break, and the senioritis was kicking in fast. Now that all seems so long ago, in a time that felt normal when now it feels anything but.

I was where I wanted to be: on campus. And I could confidently look forward and think that all the work of the last five weeks of the semester would be rewarded with commencement in May, when I would be free of homework and classes. Now that COVID-19 has forced us all home, the one place I want to be for the next few months is indefinitely off limits to me. I am one of hundreds of thousands of students, both at Saint Michael’s and other campuses, going through this disappointment. 

When the news broke it felt as if we were mourning the news of a death on campus. Everyone moped about to class, my roommates and I waved to each other in passing with tears brimming in our eyes, and classes were quiet instead of the usual chatter of sports events or other activities we all looked forward to participating in. Even now, days later and after the three hour drive home, it doesn’t feel real. Coming home for a week of spring break has turned into an extended stay of quarantine for two extra weeks–with the potential to be permanent. 

I keep hoping these two weeks are necessary so that I have the chance to return to campus for the remainder of my senior year. To come back would allow seniors like me to finish our time at Saint Michael’s College as we had hoped; enjoying our last P-Day and Derby Day with friends we have made over the years, not miles apart from each other in different states.

I worked commencement my sophomore year and watched my friends walk up to the stage and shake President Neuhauser’s hand as he handed them their diploma. I can’t wait until it is my turn to shake President Sterritt’s hand as she hands me my diploma, but now I fear I won’t get to. Along with the fear of losing our commencement, the seniors of 2020 have many other fears creeping in earlier than expected. Many of us are split between two homes; the ones we came from and the one we have built here in Vermont. Finding a job for post graduation feels more rushed now if we are to remain away from campus for the rest of the spring semester. Most of us are wondering if there will be any jobs the way the economy is crashing due to the effects of COVID-19. It’s hard to apply for jobs when the uncertainty of graduation lingers in the back of our minds. 

Taking away our time from campus feels like we’ve been dropped into the real world sooner than we anticipated and we don’t know what to do. 

I chose Saint Michael’s College because of the strong sense of community. Having now completed almost four years, this community has become a foundation in my memories at Saint Michael’s. While I sit at home, preparing for online classes, I have become even more aware of this tight community. The people I have surrounded myself with these past four years have not dropped communication just because we are no longer on campus. We are all trying our best to adjust and find a way so that we can all stay in touch. If there is one thing the COVID-19 virus has shown us, it is that the reason we are all so desperate to return to campus is because we want to surround ourselves with this close community. We were reluctant to leave because it meant saying goodbye to the community we love. In this strange time, I hold hope that we will return to campus after this extended break. Let’s make a promise to do so, if it’s April, May or even September, let’s say “See ya later,” instead of “Goodbye.”