The tradition of a 10-hour loop of pomp and circumstance, hat-throwing and a waterfall of names being muffled out over a large crowd has a special place in my heart. I am glad that Long Beach State has announced that it will be holding in-person commencement services.
I was eligible to apply for graduation but had no idea if commencement was going to happen, so I did not apply. I decided to wait and finish my final semester, and hope that the ceremony would return to in-person learning in spring of 2022.
As a current “super” senior, who is older than many of my classmates, graduation feels long overdue. These past two Zoom-esters have only prolonged this moment, and I am happy that the people that want the in-person commencement experience can have it.
Commencement for the 2020-21 school year will be held at Angel Stadium at the end of the current semester. The area is large enough, and hopefully things will go smoothly across all six of the separate stages. Graduates will get to walk out onto the playing field, which I am kind of jealous of. I am also bummed that I will not be able to take a dorky picture of myself using my diploma as a bat like so many will probably do.
I was shocked when the university had first announced that graduates would only receive one guest ticket for commencement, but it was kind of funny to me. I could imagine how frustrating and awkward that was for students to bring up to their parents and loved ones. The university and the venue later made the decision to offer two tickets per graduate, which I believed was a wise choice.
Remote learning has been hard for many students who were forced to stay home. Being in an in-person class surrounded by your peers and people in the same discipline is the true college experience. We have all been robbed of our beautiful campus and all of its amenities for the past two semesters, so now that vaccines are more readily available and the COVID-19 infection rates have gone down, in-person anything is a tangible win.
The drive-thru commencement ceremony that the university had originally planned seems like a headache (traffic-wise) and bad for the environment with each fossil fuel-burning car sadly mulling around.
Hopefully in spring of 2022 I’ll get to walk across the stage, grab my diploma and shake the hand of some administrators I have never met. Or maybe we could do one of those awkward elbow bumps instead of a handshake to be more sanitary.
Then I can finish it off by hitting a home run with my diploma.