Becca Gorman ’20 in Sudbury, Massachusetts
I worked my butt off to be able to walk across the graduation stage this May. It wasn’t until I had to write an appeal to cross the stage at graduation (I will be one credit short) earlier this fall that I realized how important that simple ceremony is to me. The past four years have been the most challenging of my life. While overcoming incredible personal difficulties, I missed a year of school cumulatively. There were many moments along my Middlebury journey that I doubted I would ever walk across the graduation stage. In fact, Dean AJ Place can confirm that my first year here I actually asked him when my credits expired because I was worried I would not complete my degree within the 10-year limit. I have not only done that in an abbreviated three years (minus one credit) but have also done so much more than I ever could have imagined.
For some reason, putting on a cap and gown and joining my classmates in walking across the stage at graduation to the sounds of applause from family, faculty, friends and coaches that I have grown to love is everything. It is a concrete moment to mark the end of a tremendous journey of personal growth and academic prowess. It is a symbolic end to my childhood. It is a formal goodbye to a college and town I have learned to call home. In the grand scheme of things, an in-person graduation ceremony is the least of our world’s priorities. But for me, I actually think it is the only thing I would be devastated to lose. I am not sure what is going to unfold over the next weeks and months. I am not sure when we will get to cross that stage. But it would mean the world to me to be able to be united as a class one last time and properly finish what we started.
What has been your greatest worry or day-to-day concern as coronavirus has spread?
My worries lie in the future of what coronavirus will bring. When am I going to have a graduation? Is my summer job in jeopardy? When will this end? I think the uncertainty is the most upsetting to me.
What has made you happy over the past few weeks?
My neighborhood looks like it did when I was eight years old. My family goes on walks around the block again after our communal family dinner. All my neighbors are out and about, six feet apart of course, but enjoying the world by walking their dogs, biking with their kids and having premature summer barbecues.
Submitted March 25, 2020.