Opinion: I don't want to wait to graduate, but I may have to
April 1, 2020
When we college seniors think back to Jan. 1, we were anxious and excited for our last semester. We’d worked so hard for everything; all the tears, struggles, and late nights had finally paid off and we were only months away from walking that stage to receive our diploma.
Then, the unthinkable happened. Spring break was extended, classes were transitioned to online, and we were suddenly forced to move out of our dorms and return home because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Life at this moment seems like a blur and I can’t seem to wrap my head around it; everything around me is changing at a very fast pace.
Social distancing is the new norm and is highly encouraged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People are wearing masks, gloves, and running from anyone that seems to be sick.
The precautions are to help slow the spread of the virus and, while we’re thankful for this, some of us can’t help but feel as if our world is being turned upside down.
Eastern New Mexico University has postponed graduation, and it may be canceled.
When I heard the news, I instantly felt my heart drop. I couldn’t help but burst out in tears as I felt this was unfair.
Something I had been planning for months was suddenly taken away from me. I had been looking forward to this day. I was determined to become the first college graduate of my family and have them proudly watch me walk across that stage. I was so excited for this next chapter of my life and had already began planning a big graduation party to celebrate the end of my journey.
Now, however, I don’t even know if that will happen.
ENMU has said spring graduates can walk in December. I don’t want to wait that long, but I might just have to.
Eastern has become my home away from home. I have met so many people here — friends, co-workers, professors, all of whom have made a significant difference in my life. I’ve spent four years getting to know the wonderful communications professors, and they have all helped me in one way or another. They’ve pushed me to do unthinkable things and helped me find my passion for writing.
I had been mentally preparing myself for goodbyes and leaving the department that shaped me as a journalist. Now unfortunately, that’s been cut short and I’m left to deal with the unsaid goodbyes by myself, while coping with the other changes that COVID-19 has caused.
I envisioned my future to be much different than this, but I know this isn’t the first or last time that my plans will suddenly change. I’ve learned that sometimes life has a different ending to a chapter, and we must accept it and continue with life. I will hope for the best and cross my fingers that this nasty virus passes over all of us.
Until then, remember to be kind to one another, don’t hoard all the toilet paper, and wash your hands often.
Nicole Trujillo is an ENMU senior and freelance journalist for The Eastern New Mexico News. Contact her at: