‘COVID semesters’ make for unique ride for graduates

Raven Staten, Reporter

For most graduating from Seward County Community College this semester, COVID has been a part of their entire college experience. It has been a long year but the hard work and perseverance will be rewarded May 7 and 8 when graduates walk across the stage at the in-person commencement ceremony in the Greenhouse. 

Carmen Gutierrez, sophomore behavioral science major, says she can’t wait to graduate. Throughout her time at SCCC Gutierrez says that her aunt has been her biggest support system. 

“She has never failed me when I needed any type of help or support and I appreciate her,” Gutierrez says.

Carmen Gutierrez, sophomore behavioral science major, graduates from SCCC this month. She juggled a job and school in order to complete her degree. (Raven Staten)

Gutierrez says that she would have liked to be involved in clubs during her SCCC career but COVID restricted her from being more active on campus. The pandemic really affected much of Gutierrez’s school and home life the last two years with three-of-four semesters taking place during COVID. She admits the 2020 spring semester was the most difficult for keeping up on homework and going to work as a personal shopper for OGP (online grocery pickup). 

“Now I have time management skills so I have time to do both. This semester has been a lot better for me,” she explains. “I feel extremely happy because I did not think I would have come this far. Yes, those days I would stay up at night doing homework were exhausting but at the end of the day it paid off!” 

Arturo Martinez, sophomore business major, says that his last semester at SCCC went very well. 

“A lot of work got done and this has all been worth it in the end,” the soon-to-be graduate says. 

Throughout his time at SCCC Martinez says that his biggest support system has been his parents. 

“My parents encourage me to do the best I can potentially be throughout anytime in life and I am very thankful for that,” Martinez says 

He plans to transfer to the University of Kansas to seek a bachelor’s degree in finance. 

“After KU, l plan to start a career in real estate with my father and then expand the business from there,” Martinez says. 

Arturo Martinez, sophomore business major, plans to finish he education at the University of Kansas. (Raven Staten)

In his free time, Martinez enjoys reading books about things he loves, spending time with friends and family, working out at the gym and learning new things. 

“I am feeling very excited to graduate, and i’m not nervous at all. I am ready for the next step in my life, and I feel that my hard work has paid off here at my time at SCCC, which I am thankful for,” Martinez says. 

Graduation ceremonies will be in three different presentations. First up will be the capping and pinning ceremony for the nursing students on May 7 at 7 p.m. in the Green House. May 8 at 9 a.m. will honor those graduating from the Industrial Tech, Cosmetology, Business Administrative Tech and the remainder of Allied Health. Later on May 8 at 11 a.m. the ceremony will honor graduates obtaining and Associates of Arts, Associates of Science, Associates of General Studies and Associate of Applied Science degrees.

You must have a ticket for any of the ceremonies. Each event will be live-streamed on the college’s facebook page.