Graduation: A celebration or just another day?

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Graduation: A celebration or just another day?

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A long and hot three hour and forty five minute drive to San Luis Obispo was halted short of the two hour mark for a very important celebration. Was it really a time of celebration though? Some could argue that the mood and the hot weather of a summer June 12 afternoon in 2021 was just another day. After the strike of the pandemic, online instruction skyrocketed around the state of California. Other California State schools, resorted to their spring commencement to be online, our school was no different. We stopped our car at a local 76 gas station just off the side of the freeway to celebrate my virtual graduation from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. My mom pulled up in the parking lot where next to the 76 gas station was a McDonald's with free Wifi which allowed for us to connect to the Zoom meeting. We waited as name after name from the History Department was called, in which you could hear the only the applause and cheers of close family for fellow graduates called before me. The quiet tension in the car while waiting for my name to be called was very obvious in the car. There was no excitement at all. Just another normal day in the hot June sun. Finally, my name was called upon. A description of my goals and my final senior project were mentioned in the ceremony in my honor. All while the bustling of cars, the smell of fast food and the barking and crying of young kids and dogs lingered in the background of the car. My family applauded clapping and crying out my name. Seconds later, the next name was read and I logged off zoom, placed my cap to the side and we continued our drive to San Luis Obispo. Apart of me wondered that day we drove away from the gas station what a true graduation may have felt like, may have sounded like without these troubling times.

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This item was submitted on August 22, 2022 by [anonymous user] using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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