Celebrating the Class of 2020 in the Midst of COVID-19

A smiling Kenia Flores in her graduation cap and gown sits on a bench outside.

Celebrating the Class of 2020 in the Midst of COVID-19

March was quite an interesting month for college students across the country. Most of us spent far too many hours in the library during the first week studying for midterms—perhaps the last sense of normalcy most of us had. We then traded in our time in the library for warmer temperatures and sunshine during spring break.

The United States was seeing an increase in cases of COVID-19 in mid-March, but I don’t think any of us could have predicted the impact it would have on our nation. I vividly remember receiving the email from my university administration letting us know we were transitioning to remote learning. We were not allowed to return to campus after spring break except to pack up our dorms and apartments and move home. Although universities did their best to recreate a successful remote environment, it does not compare to a traditional university experience.

As a graduating senior, I was forced to accept that my senior year was cut short. I would never again take a course in Johns Hall, my favorite building on campus. I would never again sit at my favorite table in the library to study for exams or complete homework. I would never again walk around our lake with friends and ponder our futures together. I did not have a chance to bid my professors and mentors the farewell they deserved. Perhaps the most disappointing news was that our commencement was postponed to an unknown date.

Although this is not how I imagined ending my senior year, it has allowed me to reflect on what truly matters. COVID-19 has taken a lot from the class of 2020, but it cannot take away the past 3.75 years of our education. Our relationships with those who have impacted us the most will continue beyond a commencement ceremony, or lack of one.

A simple change in our mindset often gives us perspective we did not know we needed.

That being said, the National Association of Blind Students (NABS) wishes to celebrate the class of 2020 through a virtual celebration on Saturday, June 6 from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. ET. We understand we cannot fully replace the commencement you deserve, but we wish to celebrate this incredible milestone with you during our celebration and social media spotlights.

Serving as second vice president of NABS has been one of the greatest privileges during my college experience. NABS has been an integral part of our success, so it is only fitting that we celebrate with our Federation family. We simply ask that any graduating student register at the link below on or before June 1. All are welcome to attend the celebration; however, only graduates are asked to register.

Please find the graduation celebration details below and share them with anyone who may be interested in participating. Please reach out to Kenia Flores (kenia.flores@furman.edu) with any questions or concerns. NABS and President Riccobono cannot wait to celebrate this milestone with you on June 6!

Form for Class of 2020 (Complete by June 1)

https://forms.gle/DqrPKfx7Gh5gYHtE7

NABS Graduation Celebration

Saturday, June 6, 2020
5:00 to 6:00 p.m. ET
Zoom
Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/4678833687
Meeting ID: 467 883 3687
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,4678833687

—Kenia Flores