On a weekday afternoon in the spring, students at Temple University would usually bask under the sun on Beury Beach and enjoy the company of their friends.
However, that tradition has been placed on hold due to the closure of campus as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While underclassmen will more than likely have a chance to experience this once more, seniors attending Temple University will miss out on precious moments such as that as their final semester goes virtual.
Furthermore, as the end of the semester quickly approaches, 2020 graduates of the Klein College of Media and Communication reflected on the abrupt ending of their academic career.
“Sometimes, we always trick ourselves into thinking we have more time than we really do have,” said Aleeya Mayo, a senior journalism major. “It was a bit of a bittersweet moment, more bitter than sweet, but I’m happy that we’re all safe and at home.”
Mayo is an anchor, reporter, and producer at Temple’s student-run news outlet, Temple Update. The unfortunate timing of this public health crisis forced Mayo to miss her final show.
“That was like one of the hardest moments in my life,” Mayo said. “It was very sad to have to depart from the rest of the crew via FaceTime instead of being there in person.”
Many other seniors in the Klein College of Media and Communication also felt the impact as the senior year they had envisioned ground to a halt.
“It went from being sort of a bittersweet moment to completely soured,” said Quadree Fletcher, a senior media studies and production major.
The students also acknowledged the importance of safety during this crisis.
“At first I was really sad about senior year ending early and not having graduation because I really worked hard for my degree, but I’m glad everyone is safe at home,” said Tanjeen Twinkle, a senior journalism major.
For now, the status of an in-person commencement ceremony is still in limbo, but the class of 2020 has made one thing clear in the form of various online petitions over the past month.
“I will accept a virtual graduation for the time being, but I will not accept not walking across the stage,” said Mayo.
-Text, Video and Images by Kenneth Cooper with contributions from Tyra Brown