By Sofia Martinez
Walking down the stage with a certificate that shows all of the hard work is the moment that every student waits for.
Paola Alfato graduated last year from East Los Angeles College where she had to be part of the generation which had to graduate in the pandemic.
It was something new to her and sad at the same time because it is the moment when she celebrates her accomplishments.
For her, it was something sad and at the same time a more accomplished goal.
During her two years at ELAC, her classes were online due to the pandemic.
She said it was difficult to learn and understand most of the classes.
As a student, she had to learn how to navigate through the online platform in order to be successful in the classes.
This was because the teachers, not all, but most of them, were also experiencing something new.
She mentioned that there were many difficulties not only for the students, but for the teachers as well.
They had to look for the best alternative to grade, to teach and to make sure that everyone was engaged in the class.
“This last part was kind of difficult,” Alfato said because being at home in students own space where in some of the classes students did not have to turn their camera on can be very difficult to concentrate.
An example of how difficult it was to graduate during the pandemic was the fact that because most of the students couldn’t focus and some teachers were new to technology.
Not everyone knew how to use modern apps, turn in assignments on time or connect to class.
Students had to explore the topics in a different way that they could understand themselves.
Not only was it something new that they had to learn, but the lack of resources was something that affected the students as well.
Not having a computer or internet during the pandemic makes it a real challenge for every student and teacher.
Graduating during the pandemic also made Alfato feel proud of herself.
It was a very difficult time having to do everything from home without being present in a classroom learning in the same way or with the same help and resources that students would have on campus.
The pandemic not only had negative things, students learned that by working as a team and helping others through the tools that teachers gave them from home, they were still able to graduate during these difficult times.
Alfato said, “I felt nervous when that time came, but also sad since it was an online graduation without being able to celebrate that great moment with my classmates and family.”
Not only did Alfato have a difficult time during the online graduation, but after difficult times everything is coming back to normal and the graduating class of 2022 will celebrate the graduation on campus June 7.