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About a month ago St. John’s University announced that they would not go forward with in-person graduation for the class of 2021 due to the ongoing risk of Covid-19. This decision to hold a virtual commencement left many devastated and frustrated.

As a graduating senior myself, who has looked forward to the glorious moment of walking across the stage and receiving my diploma I can empathize and understand the disappointment of my peers and classmates. It seems as though the lasting effects of Covid-19 are never-ending. On the other hand, I do understand St. John’s decision as the pandemic is still a very serious threat to our community. I do also believe that consulting graduating seniors would have been an effective way to come to a fair decision about the commencement ceremony as well.

Nonetheless, if there is no change in this decision to hold a virtual commencement it is important for graduating seniors to know that their hard work and dedication through such unprecedented times does not go unnoticed. Our resilience in such tough times is not something to take lightly.

I encourage all of my fellow seniors and graduating classmates to celebrate safely. It is important to honor this time in our lives. This milestone within our academic career should not be minimized. It is even more imperative during this time to take a moment and reflect on all the strength and drive it took to graduate during a global pandemic.

Class of 2021 will go down in history as one of the most hard-working and committed graduating classes. In-person commencement or not the diligence of the class of 2021 will be recognized. I advise the entire graduating class to stay encouraged as we’re almost at the finish line!

– HerCampus President, Rachel Armstrong, 2020-2021

Hi! I'm a writer for HerCampus National. In my free time, I love listening to music, spending hours on Tik-Tok, and shopping. Fun fact about me, I wrote for the HerCampus chapter at St. John's and I was president from fall 2020 to spring 2021.
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