As the 2020–21 school year is reaching an end, graduating students look fondly at their experiences at IUP.
Unless a student lives in the town of Indiana, they are required to live on campus during freshman year. This means that most graduating students lived on campus at least in their first year. For many students, living without parental supervision on campus is the first time experimenting with some sort of independence. For that reason, most memories revolve around growing up and adulting.
College is also a place in which many students deal with responsibilities for the same part, as this is a part of the growing-up process. Because of that, many seniors (especially those who held leadership positions on campus) recall fondly of key moments in which they played a part in younger student’s experience on campus.
“My favorite memory was the start of the [2020–21] year when the entire campus was working together to make the semester feel normal,” Tori Campbell (graduate student) said. “I loved move-in and welcome week.”
In many cases, college is the place where one can really find oneself. As most of the students are young adults, more mature than their high school selves; many find college the place where they can truly be themselves without fearing what would people say.
Because of both reasons, the fact that most people are “adulting” for the first time and that they are being themselves with no fear for the first time, strong bonds and friendships are formed. Due to that bond, many seniors claim their favorite moment have to do with hanging out with friends.
“[My favorite memory] definitely [is] sitting in the Great Hall in Whitmyre, working with friends on thesis papers late at night,” Nic Pomazanski (senior, English/writing studies) said.
College friendship has always been a very discussed topic and a trope present in media. Shows like “Gilmore Girls,” “Hospital Playlist” and “Friends from College” all popularized the concept of friendship during the college years.
This year, however, many of these friendships had to overcome the barrier of distance. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, most seniors were not allowed to come back to live on campus.
While some did come back to live off-campus and get some semblance of “normality,” many seniors did not come to Indiana because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“IUP has never been about buildings; it is about people,” IUP President Michael Driscoll said.
“Our students, faculty and staff have been incredibly resilient, positive and innovative since the March 2020 requirement to go completely remote, but this is not our preference.”
Driscoll added on a statement that IUP plans on coming back on-campus for fall 2021, as the university’s administration believes the school is ready for this next step. With that said, he also reiterated that IUP will continue to follow CDC guidelines, as well as the Pennsylvania state guidelines. This means that next year’s seniors will rejoice some sort of normalcy.
For this year’s graduation, graduate student will be honored Friday and undergraduate students on Saturday. The graduation ceremonies will be held in-person and are open to anyone with a ticket for it. Those without a ticket will still be able to view the ceremony on IUP’s YouTube channel where it will be livestreamed. The video of the livestream will be posted later for anyone that missed it.
There is still tickets available for those that signed up to go to the ceremony so be sure to get your prior to the event.
As for seniors graduating this year, The Penn wishes them good luck with everything in the future and hopes that they will hold on tight to these dear IUP memories.