The University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis.

Opinions | It’s time to unpack this anti-climatic final term

By in Opinions

On Thursday, March 12, I was sitting around the table at Primal Pasta with colleagues. A sense of eeriness ran down 20th Street with mentions of the recently cancelled Junos on nearly every storefront.

Much of our conversation surrounded the escalating situ­ation of COVID-19. There were rumblings around campus about the potential of classes being cancelled for the remain­der of the term. I briefly men­tioned my contingency plan of moving back to my hometown to be with my family.

The increase of time alone in my apartment was already getting to me, even though the situation in Saskatche­wan was only several days old. I soon found myself driving down the Yellowhead Highway less than 48 hours later — on track to live out every 22-year-old university student’s dream of moving into their parents’ basement.

It was a premature and un­expected departure from one of my favourite places, the campus of the University of Saskatchewan. I’ve often won­dered what my last days of university would look like, but I never expected them to look like this

For the past four years, I’ve taken advantage of every facet the university — and my col­lege, Edwards School of Busi­ness — had to offer. I studied, worked, researched and have been a part of student groups. Overall, I spent way more time there than at my actual home.

The people in this building became like a second family.

As April 7 came closer, I envisioned what my last day of undergrad would look like: presenting our capstone pre­sentation with my best friend, leaving class for the final time, printing off and stapling my thesis for sole satisfaction, cel­ebratory beers at Louis’ and taking the typical last day of school photo in front of the Edwards sign.

Alas, many of these plans will be delayed to a further date and in much different circum­stances.

The feeling, I am sure, is similar for many graduating students — we are left hanging in this liminal state. No good­byes to friends and professors, no sense of satisfaction after writing the last midterm or our final exams. There won’t be anymore smiles with the friendly Tim Hortons worker. Instead, many of us left campus on Thursday or Friday for the last time this academic year.

As the situation escalates, the usual festivities — like grad banquets, photos and even convocation — have been can­celled. Some of us may be going into the workforce while others are going for more schooling. There will be many of us still finding our way after these up­coming online final exams.

Post-convocation is often a time of uncertainty for many graduates and many of the events we were looking for­ward to over the years are so small in the grand scheme of things.

I do not disagree with the U of S suspending in-person classes and moving them on­line. It is a smart and logical decision in my mind. However, this changes the experiences of the final term for many stu­dents.

So what we have now is to remember the memories US­ask gave us. While things may seem bleak, it will all be okay. Know that even though things don’t always end as they are meant to be, they always end as they should be.

This op-ed was written by a University of Saskatchewan undergraduate student and reflects the views and opinions of the writer. If you would like to write a rebuttal, please email opinions@thesheaf.com.

Mikaila Ortynsky

Graphic: Shawna Langer | Graphics Editor

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