By Sam Bailey/ Editor in Chief

Graduation season is approaching faster with every day that passes.

With COVID-19, this year’s graduation at Hutchinson Community College has had numerous questions surrounding it that have led to frustrations among many students.

“I was very out of the loop about what was happening for graduation, it wasn’t made aware to me until about a week before our grad information was needed,” said Hutchinson sophomore Lexi Williams.

On March 12, HutchCC announced it will be hosting two graduation ceremonies on April 30 at the Sports Arena.

These ceremonies will be at 4 p.m. for those receiving Certificates of Technical Education and an Associate of Applied Sciences, and 7 p.m. for those receiving Associates of Arts, Science, and General Studies.

Tickets will be available for guest seating but further information will be announced at a later date. 

“My parents will probably come for the graduation, but no information has been given out about how many will be able to come per person,” said Oberlin sophomore Patience Carman. “I have a big family and fiancè who would love to see my accomplishments, and watch me walk across the stage, so it is disappointing that I probably won’t get to have all my closest relatives there.”

Along with not knowing how many family members will be able to attend the ceremony, having two different times also means some people will not be able to see their friends walk.

“My major is in the associates of sciences (category),” Williams said. “I’m sure I won’t be able to see some of my friends walk, but whatever it takes to keep people safe and still able to get the whole grad experience.”

Being able to walk in person is important to Carman because of all the hard work she has put into graduating from HutchCC and getting to this point in her life.

For many people, having an in-person graduation is important because this may be the only graduation they ever have in their lives or the first graduation they’ve experienced.

“I came from a one-person class,” Carman said. “I was homeschooled and graduated on my own. That is why this graduation is so important to me. Being able to experience life with my friends … good and bad and in the end pulling through and getting to celebrate with each other our accomplishments is something I have looked forward to for a long time.”

Graduating from college is no small feat and shouldn’t be ignored, but a global pandemic can make it hard to carry out. However, a year like the one everyone faced can make something like a college graduation even more special.

“I know the last year has been difficult for everyone but I am hoping and praying that we can be together this year. A year ago today I was moving home not knowing if I would ever see my closest friends again. We have come so far. Let’s not stop now,” Carman said.

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