A Girl’s Summer Post-Graduation: The Graduation

A series of reflections on life of a CEGEP grad in the time of COVID-19

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By Eden Walker

For my first article in the series of a Girl’s Summer Post-graduation, I wanted to start with the end of a big life milestone that would transition to the beginning of my adult life, Cegep graduation itself.    

When walking into the same atrium that I once did two years prior as a giddy-eyed teenager starting Cegep, I was overcome by a wave of nostalgia. I waited in line with a white rose in hand to go up to the podium for a quick snapshot. After that brief instance, I was done CEGEP not knowing how to feel. I felt bothered and dissatisfied by the rushed process and the claps from school administrators I did not know. In the circumstances perpetuated by the Coronavirus, I understood why the family members could not attend but I wished I could have received applause from my peers and teachers. They truly banded together to help one another during this difficult year, showing that my college is not the competitive, cut-throat place it’s made out to be.

Considering it was during a pandemic, I was lucky to have any type of graduation.

The school definitely did its best with safety precautions as we had to be six meters apart at all times and were divided into different time slots to avoid bigger clusters of students. I just wish the ceremony gave each one of us the chance to get closure by making it longer and more personal. Instead, the ceremony was a blur. When I asked my fellow graduates what they thought about the ceremony, they said it was nice to have taken a picture with their diploma and graduate with their friends, but they would have liked to see more of the school to better reminisce.

Some peers thought they did not need the closure as they previously felt as though their Cegep experience ended when they left the halls of the building when the pandemic first broke out. After seeing peers who clearly changed after being confined for months, my friends felt disconnected from the school they were in for almost a year. This feeling made the process of leaving easier. After listening to these responses, I feel that although the ceremony itself was not especially poignant, it was an appropriate ending that seemed long overdue.