Thoughts on graduation. – OurWarwick

Thoughts on graduation.

Tanishk Saha | Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) Contact Tanishk

It’s the end of an era; we have just finished an year (and more, for many of us) of struggles with online education and online living. Through our lives, we’ve been given flak for being on our phone, and suddenly we’re asked to stay inside and not do anything but connect virtually. “Safety and security” is the prime concern. Even over mental health.

This, however, is not often acknowledged. Since humanity has developed better tools to fight the battle with Covid, and things edge closer to “normal”, everyone forgets what we went through. I wonder if asking for a celebration is too much. Is it?

Think about it. Everyone across the world is suffering because we had an entire paradigm shift. Everyone now bears a bigger responsibility to get their own shit done. Not going into the office has meant that we feel the responsibility of doing all the possible work we can, and not spare ourselves even a moment of rest. Now, think about the same situations, and students being asked to do academic work in them. Attending lectures now became your own responsibility, rather than being able to go into the lecture room and then mustering up the attention to learn something. As much as they widen access to education, I could not gain the most from the shift to online learning. I felt the guilt of not spending every single hour of the day studying and completing my lectures. Each moment spent making a meal, going for a walk, or talking to friends on a video call was equivalent to a loss in time spent doing our learning.

Well, we lived through it. However, this mammoth task, in my opinion, was not at all celebrated or commended, apart from surface level congratulations. Till date, I feel I wrongly call myself a graduate, simply because we have not been made to feel so. Many universities had some kind of graduation ceremony; some were held online, while some were conducted in person. We had none of those. Even the photo opportunity I had on the piazza by the Warwick letters ended up with the letter C falling on me while we took pictures.

All of this just leads me to wonder: what would be needed for some level of acknowledgment that we, as a cohort studying at the university, have been doing immensely well to get through the academic year, completing assignments that have not relented in rigour (compared to previous years)? I don’t know; I leave that for you to answer. I did have things to enjoy in this year, but these are some things I hope you think about, too.

Tanishk Saha | Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) Contact Tanishk

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