Rose Brennan, center top, worked as the arts and entertainment editor for Manhattan College’s student newspaper, The Quadrangle, which she was a part of all four years at the school. She worked alongside the likes of Garrett Keidel, Gabriella DePinho, center bottom, and Alexa Schmidt.

Riverdale, NY – One of the first stories I wrote as an intern for The Riverdale Press was about some lingering questions surrounding Manhattan College’s upcoming graduation. My classmates and I had no idea who would speak at our graduation ceremony, nor did we know how many guests we were allowed to have.

I never anticipated the answer to these questions would turn out to be “no one” and “zero.”

I am in the same position as high school and college seniors across the country. No end-of-year celebrations. No prom. And, in a devastating blow to everything we worked so hard for, no graduation.

Admittedly, many institutions, including Manhattan College, are committed to celebrating us in one way or another. And I appreciate the effort. But Zoom parties and cute posts about us on social media are just not the send-off the Class of 2020 was hoping for.

Speaking for myself, I worked unbelievably hard to get to the finish line of graduation. Just this past semester, I was working two part-time jobs on campus, had an off-campus internship at The Press, and held senior leadership positions in four on-campus organizations. 

And I did all of this while maintaining a GPA that would allow me to graduate summa cum laude.

Those are all reasons for me to celebrate. And every member of my graduating class had their own lives to balance while getting their education. Graduation was where it was all supposed to pay off. And now we’re spending what was supposed to be a week of celebration stuck in our homes with little to celebrate.

“You should celebrate your health,” you might say. “At least you don’t have the virus. There’s so much to be thankful for!” 

Click here to read the article by Rose Brennan in The Riverdale Press.