Seniors say goodbye: So long CWU, and thanks for the piece of paper


Abigail Duchow, Editor-in-Chief

My time at CWU was short and sweet. Any longer and I probably would have completely lost my mind along the way. 

I did running start at Wenatchee Valley College and was able to get two years of college under my belt before graduating high school, so I started at CWU with a junior standing. I got two regular quarters of university in before COVID-19 hit, and it was all downhill from there. 

I definitely found myself thinking “I just need to get through this week” at the beginning of every week.

Even before everything shifted to online I struggled with being interested in my classes, and maybe that’s my fault for being a public relations major, but when it all went virtual it was damn near impossible for me to be interested or stay engaged at all. Thankfully, I minored in sociology, which I’m very interested in, so at least that kept my GPA up. 

My virtual experience has been far from peachy. The public relations program already had very few professors to begin with, and then CWU laid off the professors I was familiar with in the program (along with some other professors in the Communications Department), which definitely wasn’t helpful.

I have witnessed some of the worst Canvas organization I’d ever seen throughout my four years using that site. I understand not every professor is familiar with it, but some assignments didn’t even have due dates listed on them. Anyone who’s used Canvas as a student knows without a due date assignments don’t show up in your to-do list, which means it may as well not even exist. Don’t even get me started on the confusing assignment descriptions.

Yeah, these are “unprecedented times,” yes, it’s “difficult for everyone right now,” but getting professors trained in using Canvas so students can have relatively normal classes would have been nice, especially considering attendance cost is about $25,000 per year, give or take. I’m officially about $46,000 in debt (before you ask, yes, my interest rates are painful) for classes I feel I have gained little to nothing from.

On the bright side, I’m glad I was able to stumble across The Observer and I have had classes with some great professors. I’ve gained some good experience from working on the paper, and I’ve found that I really enjoy editing, especially controversial stories. Working entirely virtually was a bit of a struggle but we made it work. It’s a strange time to be in the media industry, but I mean, when is it not a strange time to be in the media industry?

I understand that I am just part of one of the unlucky classes that had to deal with all the repercussions of a pandemic, but I feel with how much money is pumped into universities it could have been so much better. Maybe I should have taken a gap year, but I really didn’t feel like putting my degree on hold for some indefinite amount of time, and I don’t know if I’d even want to come back.

So no, in case anyone was wondering, I will not be buying a $72 robe-cap-and-gown regalia package to take a picture and upload it for a slideshow to somehow replace commencement. I think $46,000 is enough for my piece of paper.