SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) This weekend, thousands of Syracuse University students will celebrate their graduation and head off into the real world. But during a pandemic, this class’ junior and senior years faced a dose of reality a lot sooner.
Television, Radio and Film student, Casey Nardino is still reflecting on saying goodbye to a school she learned to call home. “It’s kind of surreal. I knew I was going to graduate ‘oh in 4 years… in 3 years… and now it’s 2 years and now it’s here,” Nardino said.
One day, when she tells her children and grandchildren what college was like, her senior year — during a pandemic will be a story for the ages.
“The first semester was a little bit jarring just because you think of college as a crazy, social, place, everything had to be reeled in a bit. But definitely second semester with the nice weather with everyone getting vaccinated it’s going to be a lot better. And I think Syracuse university Has been doing a good job of trying to give us that college experience while being safe.”
The university will try to keep families safe this commencement weekend too. To spread everyone out, there will be three ceremonies; one on Saturday and two on Sunday. People will be seated in groups of three. Each graduate is limited to two guests.
Nardino said she’s lucky to have a commencement at all. She’s well aware of how dire the coronavirus spread was on campus just last month. The same place where she walks across the stage is where she did her part to keep her classmates safe.
This past semester Nardino worked at the Carrier Dome testing center. She said it was never something she pictured doing during her time at school.
“I think it’s taught me a lot, a lot of things that I didn’t realize I needed to learn which is cool.”
When class should be the hardest part, these seniors learned so much more.
To watch this weekend’s ceremonies click here.