Graduation day is supposed to be a memorial time for students to celebrate their accomplishments, however some students feel indifferent about the event. After being away from campus for so long the feeling of school spirit and celebration is at an all time low. There are some students that feel even cheated that they lost their two years of campus during the pandemic.
Grad Day was held CSUSB students who are preparing for commencement and the next chapter in their life. This was one of the major events of the campus after closing due to the rise of COVID-19 cases at the beginning of the year. From the pandemic, CSUSB was switched to fully online courses until Fall 2021, when the campus was reopened. However, that was short lived as the students moving into the spring semester were switched back to having their lectures through Zoom. Classes were switched to online again from January 24, 2022 to February 18, 2022.
In an email sent out by President Morales, he stated that the decision to close in the beginning of the 2022 Spring semester was to “ensure the health and safety of students, staff and faculty.” While this may be a memorable time for students, some feel different about the event. They felt cheated as if these last few years were stolen from them and they were robbed from their college experience.
Senior Edward Mora, a transfer student, said, “My time at CSUSB was one year online and one year in person. I was looking forward to it, but it is what it is. I’ve been looking forward to transferring to Cal State for a long time and when I was a community college and I knew I would transfer here. Even if we were in person it was hybrid last semester so I definitely felt robbed.”
Mora explained that he felt bittersweet about his experience at CSUSB. “I didn’t have a lot of time on campus. I was expecting the on campus experience and the graduation, but my ending time came real quick. But, I am still grateful for everything. My family is going to be there for my graduation so I am still grateful for what it is,” said Mora.
Elizabeth Suarez, another senior transfer student shared her university experience as well. “I transferred during 2020 to 2021. My first year here was spent all online and I didn’t come here until last year and I only had one class in person so most of my time here was online,” said Suarez. “I feel like I never got the full college experience. I started at community college and that isn’t a true college experience. I was so excited to transfer and to do all the fun things and have new experiences, but there was nothing special. I didn’t even get to explore campus until my final semester.”
Another senior, Karen Barrera, who spent her time at CSUSB from her freshman year until now shared her perspective on the entire situation. She felt like she was able to still fully have her college experience. “I feel like I was robbed because one year I was a second year, then I was in my senior year. I feel like the day I graduate I can say I went through all this so I got my college experience,” said Barrera.
While the students who were able to experience their first few years were able to live their college life in full, the students who transferred in from different community colleges were the most impacted. It is awful looking forward to finally going to a school of your choice and then being denied the full opportunity of what that university has to offer. Graduation day was more of a time of just getting in and out rather than celebrating for these transfer students. Even at the event, it felt like a lot of students were rushing to get in and out due to not wanting to be surrounded by other students or feeling indifferent about graduation day.
While some students were able to fully have their college experience, most of the transfer students felt as if they were robbed. A time of celebration during graduation day ended being bittersweet for these seniors, however they were able to still have an appreciation for everything they have even those they lost so much during the pandemic.