Student Life

Closure for Seniors


Let’s be honest: this semester didn’t go the way any of us thought it would. One minute, we’re panicking over midterms and the next, the world is panicking over a global pandemic. Everything has come to a halt without any warning. This is especially shocking for seniors, who are finding themselves ending their time at JMU without getting the closure they want and need. How are they supposed to say goodbye to their time as a student without experiencing their final semester on campus? 

Getting closure isn’t something a how-to guide can teach you because closure isn’t the same for everyone. Some people may find the peace they need by simply walking through the quad. Others may need to dive deeper emotionally and have an open conversation with their loved ones. In order to know what steps you need to take to get closure, it is important to spend some time figuring what your needs look like. 

Come back to campus on your terms. While the campus is temporarily closed, you are always welcome back after graduation. During your time off, it might be good to map out the most important spots on campus during your academic career. Was there a spot in Carrier that you spent hours studying at each semester? Were you constantly catching some z’s in the Nap Nook at Festival? Did you eat every meal at D-Hall? After quarantine, visit these spaces again. Bring someone with you to experience the space. Take the time to remember the good times you had there. 

Don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishments. Graduating from a university is a huge feat that many don’t get the opportunity to achieve. After quarantine is over, get together with your friends and family to celebrate your time as a student. 

Graduation has been rescheduled. If closure to you means finally walking across the stage to get your diploma, don’t fret: graduation will be taking place in person! JMU recently announced that the commencement ceremonies have been rescheduled to August 7-8 (given that COVID-19 doesn’t worsen). Make plans with your loved ones to celebrate graduation together, in person! 

Remember to practice self-compassion during these times. These unprecedented times are difficult for literally everyone. Go easy on yourself, even if you are struggling to adjust to life in quarantine. JMU’s Counseling Center has a number of virtual resources available to students to help them improve their mental health during quarantine.

Your time as a Duke doesn’t end after graduation. JMU has a large network of alumni that keep the JMU spirit alive long after graduation. Don’t be afraid to join alumni groups on social media. Get in touch with fellow Dukes in your field and share your experiences with them. JMU also offers several events throughout the year that allow alumni to reconnect with the university. Be sure to check out the JMU Alumni Association after graduation for more information on how alumni can remain active Dukes. 

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Published: Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Last Updated: Thursday, January 13, 2022

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