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A year ago today, March 16, I woke up in the middle of night and saw I had an email I'd been anxiously waiting for.
It read "Your USC Decision Letter Is Available Online". After fumbling through a few misspellings of my password, I was finally able to log in and saw what I was praying for.
I was officially admitted into USC as a Master of Science Journalism student.
It was a moment I had hoped for for years.
Now a year ago to my acceptance email, I received another email that I was also anxiously expecting.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, USC will officially finish the semester online and our May 15th commencement is to be determined.
What was supposed to be a productive and memorable end to my time as a student at USC will now be done remotely.
I know this was done as a public health precaution, but I can't help that I feel robbed.
Instead of focusing on figuring out my next step, making memories with my friends, and celebrating our accomplishments, I am now in a constant state of worry wondering how the coronavirus will continue to impact my life.
Many people assume classes done online is a student's dream. But when it's your last few weeks of being a student all you want is to enjoy your last few moments of walking through campus.
I'm not the only student who is feeling this sadness.
My sister is a senior in high school and will be home with me the next few weeks as well. Her prom has been cancelled, all her senior activities are being refunded, and she may have played her last game of volleyball without even realizing it.
Graduates throughout the country are all feeling this epidemic. No one told us last week was the last time we'd attend classes in person.
All I could've asked for was to know so I could've appreciated it more. Instead of waking up tired and complaining to my friends about being in class, I would've soaked it up and appreciated what was an amazing experience.
I appreciate the opportunity to finish classes online and the constant communication between USC officials, but it doesn't fix this feeling.
Now I'm worried about if and when I'll get the moment to celebrate my accomplishments with my peers.
Students across the country have put their all for that ten seconds of fame when you hear your name called and you walk across the stage to get your diploma.
I know it doesn't seem like a lot, but when you add up the stress and countless all-nighters students go through, at the very least we deserve to be recognized.
So for everyone who has a 2020 graduate in their life, please give them a hug and send them your good thoughts. In the midst of this crisis, our life turned upside down just as much as everyone else has.
-- Isabella Meneses