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Graduating Class Reminicse About Time at LIU


A "clock" counting down the days until graduation. (Photo: Jaeqweon Suarez)

The beginning of the end is here as the semester enters its last few weeks before summer break. For some students, this is also the last time they will walk on Long Island University Brooklyn campus grounds.

As they prepare to walk the stage with their caps and gowns, Seawanhaka was able to find a few seniors to make some time from their busy schedules to talk about their years here at LIU, from starting as freshmans to going to school amidst a pandemic.

“I’d consider my years here at LIU like waves. There was a lot of ups and downs, but it was definitely interesting,” Nicholas Fraser explained.

Fraser’s major is computer science and he already has job lined up after graduation as a technical consultant. The one thing he said he would miss the most is the community and friends he made here.

“They are the pure positives of this school honestly. Clubs such as the ASA or the Caribbean Student Association have been great to meet people,” Fraser said.

He talked about how he’ll have a lot of time to do some of the stuff he wish he could have, such as rock climbing andplaying more basketball, but miss being on campus.

“For sure, I’m coming back to campus. My card still works, so you’ll definitely be seeing me around. When I have money I’ll buy everybody food, that’s a thing that I have not been able to do. But it’s definitely going to be really weird not having a place to go to and having to build a whole other life without this main point, campus," he said. "And even though this school has its ups and downs I still enjoy the people here and campus. So it’s going to be a little difficult, but I will miss it.”

Nikkita Louis agreed that she’ll miss being on campus and the community that she has built.

“I’ll miss it a little bit. My team members and the friends I met here I’ll miss the most. I’ll miss being around campus because it was an easy way to hang out with people. We’re next to the Barclay Center and other tourist attractions, so there was always something to do in the neighborhood. So it’ll be a little different now that I’m not here.”

Louis majored in psychology and she explained how COVID-19 put a break on social interactions.

“The school was great for the first year and a half. But with COVID, it really took a toll on everything and the school doesn’t feel the same anymore. It’s also expensive so it makes it harder for minorities such as me to really do anything.”

Both Fraser and Louis agreed that COVID-19 affected college life and limited their college experience.

This is just one of the first classes to be able to have a graduation after COVID-19, which continues to infect people in the United States.

“I don’t think anyone could ever say they expected COVID,” Fraser began. “It happened right when I was entering my second year of college and it changed everything.”

Even after COVID-19, classes are still feeling the ripple effects it had on their lives. These two, however, can’t wait to be able to hold that degree in their hands and walk across the stage.

“Yeah, I literally put my blood, sweat, and tears into earning that degree,” Louis stated. “I’ll be feeling relief as well. It’s like when you’re waiting for the climax of a story and you finally reach it. I’ll be so happy to finally have that weight taken off my shoulders.”

Fraser said that he would be ecstatic going across the stage and earning his degree.

“I daydream about holding it, I honestly can’t wait. I’ll be so ecstatic. My family is going to be there and a whole bunch of my friends are going to be there. I’m ready to take pictures and have my salmon suit on, a light blue undershirt, and some nice shoes. I’m too excited for this.”

Both explained to Seawanhaka what they want to accomplish within their careers. Louis doesn’t see being a therapist as an option yet in the near future, whereas Fraser wants to work up to hopefully be able to work with nano-technology, something that has always intrigued him.

“I’m thinking about doing something more analytic and data-based. Or I could do forensic psychology, because I want to know more about why criminals' psyche are the way they are. That is something that has always interested me,” Louis explained.

“I want to be more on the tech side, I want to be a programmer. So I plan on going to my company and working on projects that are more geared towards programming so that I can build up my technical skills. Then in around 2-3 years I’ll be able to join a tech firm so I can get to where I really want to be, which is studying nano-tech. It’s a very fascinating subject to read about and there are a lot of areas that are unexplored,” Fraser told Seawanhaka.

The two seniors differed on whether or not this college experience could have been had somewhere else rather than LIU.

“I could definitely have had this experience somewhere else,” Fraser said. “I love the people here, don’t get me wrong, but I kind of wished I went somewhere else.”

Louis differed with her response, stating that she wouldn’t have made the friends she had here elsewhere.

“I thought about transferring, but this school has a ‘je ne sais quoi’ to it. As much as it has put me through hell, I really wouldn’t have experienced it anywhere else.” Louis stated.

She works at the campus store Browse, where students can go to for all their electronics needs. She gave it a special name, calling it “the orphanage.”

“I nicknamed it 'the orphanage' because I’ll have ten to fifteen people in here at a time, and we gotta stick together. So slowly I was just collecting more people to talk to.” Louis explained.

Before they permanently leave to fulfill their goals in life, they had some advice to leave for future classes.

“Make connections that you know won’t die off,” Louis began. “I had connections, then COVID happened and I lost them all. The people that I met, the people that helped me get to where I am right now, and I am really glad that I did meet them because I wouldn’t be standing here now.”

“Try to come here with the expectation that you’re going to get an internship and make professional connections. There is no point in going to college if you’re not doing that. Broaden your horizons and don’t worry about grades as much. Some of the smartest people in the world failed some classes. Be more than just your grades,” Fraser said.

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