Last week, BYU-Idaho faculty and students received an email saying, for now, there will only be online classes due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. One of the precautions for the COVID-19 coronavirus is avoiding large gatherings. One of those restrictions is on-campus classes and other events.
One of the events that will likely happen over the internet only is the live commencement ceremony. Hardworking students who are graduating this semester will not have the chance to walk and it has been hard for some of them to process this information.
Marlee Nielsen who is studying video production said she was looking forward to this special day after four years of dedication to her education.
“To not get that moment and to get that moment taken away from me and all the other graduates is very hard,” she said.
Nielsen said she understands this is crucial to help prevent the spread of this virus and for those students who are worried about loved ones to go back home, but it is still sad news. Students who were in her classes and are also graduating this semester are feeling a mix of emotions.
“We are frustrated, we are sad, we are heartbroken and it’s just so sad because all of us have worked so hard,” Nielsen said.
Nielsen has loved studying here at BYU-Idaho, one of her favorite things is to be around people who live her standards. She’s made incredible friends. All her siblings studied in Utah, but she felt drawn to come to BYU-Idaho. She applied to see if she would get in and when she did, she was just excited to start her journey in Rexburg.
This semester, she worked on a class project as a video producer in a short film named “The World in the Corner of Your Eye.” It gave her more experience to be prepared to enter the work field after graduating.
“It feels like I’m living my dream and that is what I want to do for the rest of my life,” she said
Nielsen advises freshmen who are starting their education at BYU-Idaho to take one day at a time and to do their very best.
“Everything will be okay, there will be some classes that will make you want to pull your hair out, everyone has classes like that so you are not alone, but the teachers are your friends and they want the best for you,” she said.
Despite the circumstances, she is excited to go back home to Arizona with her family. She said once the coronavirus dies down they will do a walk in her home where she will wear her academic regalia and the graduation cap so she can still get that experience.