Graduating students prepare for another semester of virtual commencements

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Many college students weren’t expecting graduating in the fall semester would mean another round of online commencements, but still they are happy to be done.

Celina Medina is finishing her Applied Learning and Development degree at the University of Texas at El Paso as an honor student.

“The message is to just be happy where we are and celebrate as best as we can that we made it,” said Medina, explaining how she was hoping to have an in-person commencement, but she’s still happy to be graduating.

She said she will celebrate with a drive-by ceremony with her family and hopes to have a mariachi group play for her.

“It’s disappointing and it makes me really sad,” said Medina about her friends who are first-generation college students. She was hoping they would get the chance to walk across the stage and share their accomplishment with family and friends.

She said her senior year was not what she expected, having to adapt to online learning, but she said it taught her skills for her job as a teacher.

She is now getting ready to pursue her career and is already getting job offers, with more teachers retiring due to the switch to virtual learning.

“It’s a bittersweet feeling,” said Medina about graduating and looking back on years she had spent studying for the profession that she loves. She said she feels proud of her accomplishments.

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