No commencement, no problem

Gabriel Lizama, Staff Reporter

Since students can no longer walk for graduation, some are celebrating at home in different ways. 

Bradyn Kelly, a senior majoring in law and justice, is holding a commencement ceremony at home. In honor of earning his bachelor’s degree, Kelly said his family is making him wear his cap and gown to celebrate. His parents decided to make him the valedictorian of his own party and are expecting a speech.

Kelly said one thing he is looking forward to is seeing family. Being in Ellensburg has not provided him the opportunity to travel back home to western Washington.

What Kelly is going to miss the most about Ellensburg is going on random backpacking trips into the mountains and hiking with friends. 

“The relationships that I have made over the years at CWU have been the foundational blocks to making me who I am today,” Kelly said. “I’ll never forget my first dollar-beer night and just the opportunity to meet new people.”  

Kelly’s advice to underclassmen is to not stress out too much over school work. Otherwise, it will take away from having fun memories to look back on. Kelly said it’s important to sit back and enjoy the moment because, at the end of the day, most people are only in college once.

Despite no in-person commencement, Kelly was not bothered. In fact, he looked back at CWU in hindsight and said being in college has taught him how to time manage and embrace bad situations.

“At the end of the day, things are only temporary and you just gotta full-send,” Kelly said. 

George Dreiszus, a senior majoring in biology with a specialization in medicine, is among the anxious seniors departing on a new adventure. For commencement, Dreiszus is planning on spending time with family and packing up the house. 

“One of the biggest things I am looking forward to is marrying my best friend Brianna Reisinger,” Dreiszus said. She has supported me throughout these years and I’m excited for our next step in life.” 

Dreiszus will miss the people and friendships he has made over all these years. Dreiszus said he will not however miss the windy days that blew his homework all over campus.

One thing that Dreiszus said was important to remember throughout his time at CWU is to not get lost in schoolwork and appreciate time with friends.

As a senior, Dreiszus said there is a lesson to learn from his experience.

“Be proud about what you choose to do,” Dreiszus said. Make sure that you are passionate about what you do and you will be successful. Do not let other people try to tell you what you want because they are not you.”

Morgan Vance, a senior public health major, is celebrating graduation with loved ones and food from Chipotle. Vance plans on waking up early to celebrate with her family by watching the commencement virtually. 

Not having commencement in person is understandable especially from a public health perspective, Vance said. The overall health and well being of students is more important than gathering together and risking the spread of the virus, Vance said.

Vance said she will definitely miss the friends she has made in Ellensburg. She said being in Ellensburg forces students to make the best of what they have, and she wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Reflecting back on her college career, Vance has some words of wisdom for current students. 

“Make sure to cherish the time with your closest friends because it will be over before you know it,” Vance said. “Time flies and when it comes your time, you will understand.”

Vance said CWU has taught her how to step out of her comfort zone and find out what she is passionate about, which is public health. Coming in as a freshman, lost and confused, she said she fell into a path that led her to be successful today. 

“I wouldn’t change my experiences here at CWU because it made me who I am,” Vance said.

Photos by Issac Sandoval