Saturday, May 25, 2024

Closing the Book as They Should Be

by theWeeklySillimanian | June 1, 2022

Silliman University held its first in-person graduation ceremonies since the pandemic began. As of this writing, the senior high school and the junior high school departments have already held their commencement exercises. Congratulatory posts, as well as heartfelt messages with dramatic snapshots of students in their togas flooded various social media platforms, giving students and parents a sense of solemnity after two years of being stuck in online distance learning.

The Weekly Sillimanian congratulates those who are and who will wear their hard-earned togas. The fact that we now have a chance to turn our tassels makes toiling on screens more meaningful. Students have been on their chairs and screens for two years, feeling the uncertainty but also hope of not just braving the pandemic, but also nailing their own future.

When one first takes their step on the halls of Silliman, there is a feeling of being unsure. They can only take a walk under the acacia trees, hoping that they pass the quizzes and examinations. There are even those who go to comfort rooms, crying because of failing marks. Some longed a shoulder tap from friends, as they face mental and emotional setbacks. And for those who are in a relationship, who can forget the moments where they study and pass [or even fail] together yet stood up strong knowing that they both have a future to uphold?

After years of tantrums, sleeplessness, and toiling, here we are, about to conquer the world out there. But the world will be cruel. Let the bittersweet years of studying remind us of the edge we have over these challenges. We cried when we failed the exams, yet we went on. We took your first step on the halls of Silliman with uncertainties, yet we are about to leave its halls victorious. As long as the Silliman spirit lives in us, we will have that toga and diploma, and be able to conquer the world out there.

The Weekly Sillimanian would also like to commend the organizers of the commencement exercises for giving the students their deserved ceremony. Two years of ODL is never easy, especially in the absence of pats and hugs that would have made a difference to the students’ passion to learn. The organizers and those who made the event possible indeed, had listened to the longstanding pleas of the students, even amid the constraints brought by the pandemic.

“When there’s a will, there’s a way.” The organizing committee really lived up to this saying, drawing comprehensive plans of action just to make the event possible without sacrificing the compliance of minimum health protocols. The emotional Instagram stories, as well as social media posts highlighting the significant event, would never be possible without the initiatives of the faculty and staff of Silliman University who had made sure that the event would go on.

We again congratulate the students and organizers for setting Silliman University as an example that a solemn graduation ceremony is possible even amid the pandemic. 

The Weekly Sillimanian continues to be one of those who are rallying to call the administration to give previous graduates a chance to have their commencement exercises, as a symbolic closure of their bittersweet sojourn in the campus by the sea. It may not be possible for now given the current circumstances, but we hope that it will happen sooner.

Silliman’s halls are slowly reopening. Let everyone experience a happy ending to their hardships.

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