By Brielle Braxton-Young, The Whetstone
It was supposed to be one of the best times of the school year for most college seniors.
Some were either going to or coming back from spring break, and before they knew it, they were either told to stay home or were sent home packing, unable to say goodbye to friends, professors, or enjoy their final moments.
Seniors all over the world had their final two months of college cut short due to COVID-19. While every school handled the situation a little differently, the question on every senior’s mind was, What happens now?
Many schools have been updating their students weekly and offering support.
Some seniors at Wesley have mixed emotions about the situation.
Law and Justice major, Alexis Bynum says it’s upsetting because it’s out of her control.
“I kind of have mixed emotions,” she said. “Because on the one hand, it’s upsetting we are missing out on events that would be sentimental to us, but we have no control over what’s going on,” she said.
Alexis Bynum Image provided by Alexis Bynum
Like Bynum, senior Nyasia Sales, psychology and human biology major, said she also doesn’t like that it’s out of her control.
“It sucks but my health and my friends’ health is my top priority,” she said.
She does know that she will have an interesting story to tell her children and grandchildren about her experience with COVID-19.
“I don’t know anyone in my family with an interesting story to tell,” she said. “So those of us who lived through this we will be able to tell our children and grandchildren that we were alive during a pandemic.”
Nyasia Sales Image provided by Nyasia Sales
For senior Shannel Williams, political science major at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina, said besides missing graduation, she also is out of a job.
“Not having steady paychecks sucks, so that’s annoying,” she said.
Like others, Williams had to say goodbye to friends, favorite professors, end of the year galas and time with her family.
“It’s disheartening because thinking of graduation is what got me through a lot of long nights,” she said. “It’s been virtually ripped away from me and I don’t know if I’ll ever get that moment back.”
Bynum said she also is upset that time was cut short with friends.
“My closest friends are furthest away from me,” she said. “Not being able to have one last banger with them or celebrating senior events with them really doesn’t sit right with me.”
Shannel Williams Image provided by Shannel Williams
For senior J’Nea Jenkins, a psychology major at Rosemont College in Pennsylvania, things went a little differently.
“On March 12, we got emails saying no one at the school had coronavirus, but we had to leave and go home by Friday March 13, at 5 p.m.,” she said. “I am an RA and I had to wait until my floor was gone, so I had to call out of work, pack up most of my things and it was just really frustrating.”
Jenkins works in Chichester, Pa., at a juvenile correctional facility, which is about an hour and thirty minutes from her school.
Rosemont sent its next update March 19, and said all students should have been moved out by then and, effective immediately, everything was online, and most events were canceled.
J’Nea Jenkins Image provided by J’Nea Jenkins
“School comes first, but I am also an RA, a part of the Black Student Union and Modeling team,” she said. “The annual events that my board and I had been planning for months are now canceled. Many seniors look forward to their last show because they tend to go out with a bang. Now I’ll never get to experience that again – especially with my Rosemont family.”
Like Jenkins, Bynum and Sales also were looking forward to events that they will not be able to attend.
“Due to Covid-19, Creative Attributions’ annual fashion show, which we have been preparing for since the Fall, makes it seem like everything has gone to waste,” Sales said. “I always participate in Scholars Day, and psychology club events that happen toward the end of the semester, like the Easter egg hunt and scavenger hunts.”
Bynum is the president of the Fairy God Sisters of Delaware at Wesley.
“I had a lot of events planned for the seniors,” she said. “One of our events would have been our tea party, which would be the presentation of the stoles, cords, awards, and senior gifts, I also missed out on my senior portraits, which I don’t know how it will happen.”
Creative Attributions Fall Show
Tea Party flyer Senior pictures flyer