DURHAM — Katelyn Grey switched from dwelling on campus to being a commuter university student for her ultimate year at the College of New Hampshire. It was not what she envisioned 4 decades ago in advance of the coronavirus changed everyone’s truth.
“Even though my senior year wasn’t what I was hoping it would be, I had a great 4 many years listed here,” Gray explained.
The 22-year-previous Newfields resident spoke right before the commence of Friday morning’s graduation ceremony for UNH’s College of Health and fitness and Human Solutions. It was the first of numerous independent graduation ceremonies getting held Friday and Saturday for the Course of 2021 at Wildcat Stadium, with CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer’s recorded keynote speech taking part in at all of them.
Gray would’ve preferred her total relatives to be in a position to go to her graduation, but she was limited to her parents only owing to the two-visitor limit for each scholar amid COVID-19 safety protocols. Grey skipped social chances this year, way too. She remained upbeat, although, about what she’ll just take from her senior-year practical experience.
“Items transpire and you just can’t handle it — just make the greatest out of matters,” she said.
Reflecting on the positives
Following a semester of ups and downs, unfamiliar improvements and Zoom classroom settings, UNH graduates in attendance at Friday morning’s ceremony seemed back on their yr with mostly positive reflections.
Graduates shared praise for their professors and the initiatives of the university in keeping operations heading in the greatest way doable. Apart from a couple months exactly where UNH switched to on the web classes in early February, it was ready to keep on being at its lightest variety of limited functions, permitting for in-person lessons with masks and social distancing.
Julia Caddell, 22, of Bellingham, Massachusetts, and William Rolfe, 31, of West Paris, Maine, each majoring in social perform, were being happy with the tutorial working experience.
“I can not give ample credit history to the social perform department for recognizing the toll the pandemic took on learners and comprehension that items weren’t the identical,” Caddell reported.
Rolfe said the accommodations they produced “showed the motivation our professors have to us and our effectively-becoming.”
As for their have encounters, Rolfe claimed, “We made the greatest out of it.” Caddell agreed: “We’re continue to kicking butt and having names!”
Each are planning to continue their UNH journeys with graduate university in the coming days and expressed their gratitude to have an in-person commencement. Inspite of not owning a standard finish of junior year and senior year, Caddell said it was a spotlight “just being ready to have graduation – I did not think it would transpire – so it is more than I could check with for.”
‘Getting by way of it just makes most people kinda stronger’
Bryce Aldrich, 25, of Lebanon, Maine, praised his professors, as well. With every thing that was diverse, he appreciated “the exact same wonderful academics as ordinary,” from his sports scientific tests important.
“They did a extremely very good job at making certain everybody experienced what they needed in buy to experience comfortable more than enough to graduate and wander into the workforce,” he mentioned.
Like several other seniors, he missed out on assembly new men and women, becoming a social man or woman himself, but the value of remaining shut with the persons he’d been shut with and the good results of his academics was his biggest takeaway.
Kailey Kinsey, 22, of Somersworth, acknowledged the modifications that all people experienced to make in approaching these COVID school semesters: “It’s been a wrestle, but I feel obtaining as a result of it just helps make all people kinda much better.” Kinsey explained she now feels “getting through school by way of COVID, I can kinda do nearly anything. I did that – I can deal with whatever’s coming.”
Jonathan Knauer, 22, of Merrimack, together with Emma Czwakiel, 22, of Medford Massachusetts, and Kathleen Duhaime, 21, of Concord, ended up beneficial, much too.
Czwakiel explained this senior calendar year has manufactured her value her first 3 many years at UNH even extra. Knauer skipped the in-man or woman part of school, but reported “no make any difference what lifestyle throws at you, whether or not it’s a whole international pandemic, we can even now make it through.”
Editor’s observe: Evan Edmonds is a member of the UNH Class of 2021.