With the announcement of in-person graduation, there were a lot of different emotions going through my head: shock being one of them. This was one of the last things that I expected Bradley University to do.
As grateful as I am to be able to celebrate this accomplishment in-person, I’m definitely still trying to get to the place of excitement. Because of everything that I have lost in the last year (study abroad, in-person classes, sorority events, etc.), I had already come to accept that I wouldn’t experience college in a typical way again. It’s been hard, but I’ve adjusted to life with most of my college commitments being online due to the pandemic. I was ready for graduation to be just another one of those steps -ready to go out into the real world!
I’m excited about the next steps in my life. However, I don’t feel like I am truly going to be able to celebrate my accomplishments. I feel as though the in-person graduation is going to separate those I care about and want to celebrate with. With only being given two tickets to the ceremony, my choice is easy, my mom and dad. But, that leaves my brother out. It makes me sad that we can’t all be together, which could have been possible if it were virtual. Because of this, I am not even sure if I will be able to see my brother that weekend or not.
Despite all the downsides, I’m trying to remain strong and remind myself what a great success graduating from college is. I’m trying to remind myself that there are positives to this situation. I do get to put on a cap and gown and walk. I do get to put on my beautiful graduation dress. If anything, it’s another excuse to wear my cute heels.
I know the day will still be special, after all, it’s a big accomplishment. I know my parents and those who I will still have in Peoria will make it a great day. Here’s to the graduating class of 2021. I know it’s not easy, but know you’re not alone. It’s okay to be feeling mixed emotions. This is a difficult time, but we will persevere and come out stronger in the end. We got this!