Graduate Students Deprived of College Experiences – Coyote Chronicle CSUSB


Graduation Day is meant to be a memorial time for students to celebrate their accomplishments, but some students feel indifferent to the event. After being away from campus for so long, the sense of spirit and celebration at school is at an all-time low. Some students even feel cheated that they lost their two years of campus during the pandemic.

CSUSB graduating students line up to receive their Cap & Gown during the Grad Days Fair. Photo by John Malapitan

Grad Day was held for CSUSB students as they prepare for the start and next chapter of their lives. It was one of the major events on campus after it closed due to the spike in COVID-19 cases earlier this year. Since the pandemic, CSUSB moved to fully online classes until fall 2021, when the campus was reopened. However, that was short-lived as students entering the spring semester began taking their classes via Zoom again. The courses were put back online from January 24, 2022 to February 18, 2022.

In an email from President Morales, he said the decision to close at the start of the spring 2022 semester was to “ensure the health and safety of students, staff, and faculty.” Although it may be a memorable moment for students, some feel different about the event. They felt cheated as if their past years had been stolen from them and their college experience had been stolen from them.

Senior Edward Mora, a transfer student, said, “My time at CSUSB was one year online and one year in person. I was looking forward to it, but that’s how it is. I had been looking forward to transferring to California State for a long time and when I was in community college I knew I would transfer here. Even though we were in person, it was hybrid last semester, so I really felt robbed.

Mora explained that he felt bittersweet about his experience at CSUSB. “I didn’t have a lot of time on campus. I was expecting the on-campus experience and graduation, but my end time came really fast. But, I’m still grateful for everything. My family will be there for my graduation, so I’m always grateful for what it is, Mora said.

Elizabeth Suarez, another senior transfer student, also shared her college experience. “I transferred from 2020 to 2021. My first year here was spent entirely online and I only came here last year and only had one in-person class, so most of my time here was online,” Suarez said. “I feel like I never had the full college experience. I started at community college and it’s not a real college experience. I was so excited to transfer and do all the fun things and new experiences, but there was nothing special. I didn’t even get to explore the campus until my last semester.

Another senior, Karen Barrera, who has spent her time at CSUSB from her freshman year until now, shared her perspective on the whole situation. She felt like she was able to fully live her university experience. “I feel like I was robbed because one year I was in sophomore and then I was in senior year. I feel like the day I graduated I can say I went through all of that, so I got my college experience,” Barrera said.

While students who were able to experience their early years were able to live their college life to the fullest, students who transferred from different community colleges were most affected. It is terrible to look forward to finally going to a school of your choice and then being denied the full opportunity of what that university has to offer. Graduation day was more a time of in and out than celebration for these transfer students. Even at the event, it felt like a lot of students were rushing in and out because they didn’t want to be around other students or felt indifferent on graduation day.

While some students were able to fully enjoy their college experience, most transfer students felt like they had been robbed. A moment of celebration at graduation ended up being bittersweet for these seniors, but they were still able to appreciate everything they have, even those they lost so much during the pandemic.

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