I was not expecting to tell my friends “congratulations” so early.  

Emporia State announced that graduation commencements are canceled; I’m devastated. This does not directly impact me, but I have a lot of friends who were going to graduate the end of this semester. Now, they don’t get too.  

I cried seeing my friends’ reactions. They all put so much hard work, time, dedication and love into every accomplishment and trial they endured these past three to four years. They do not get to wear their soles. They do not get to be recognized in front of their peers or family. They do not get to walk across the stage. I understand the reason why we had to cancel, but it sucks. Everyone is hurting in some way.  

Graduation all across the country seems to be canceled now. I have friends who go to universities ranging from the East Coast to the West Coast. I am sad that they do not get to “graduate” either. Even high school graduations are canceled.  

I just want to stop and say that I am so proud of all of my friends. Even if I do not know you and you are a senior reading this, I am proud of you too. Please know that you are recognized for everything you did, whether you were here for just a few semesters or all four years. I am proud of you. 

This situation continues to grow, and things just seem to keep getting worse. Aside from the mass hysteria and lack of basic necessities at grocery stores, the Wellness Center is transitioning to virtual counseling. Students will have to call the Wellness Center at 620-341-5222 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to reach a counselor.  

Overall, I think the hardest part about this is not getting to say goodbye to my friends. The Residence Halls are closing due to ESU staying with remote classes the remainder of this semester. I keep thinking about all the last moments I had before spring break with my friends and how I did not even realize they could have been my last moments for a while. 

If you are not feeling well and are experiencing either coronavirus or flu symptoms, call (instead of visiting) the Student Wellness Center at 620-341-5222 or Newman Regional Health, 1201 W 12th Street, at 620-343-6800. 

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