Pandemic grad ceremony disappointing for student, family

Masked up: Breanna Nardelli wears her mask for safety in Calgary on Nov. 4. (Photo by Devin Gaynor/SAIT)

Imagine spending significant time and money on a post-secondary education, but not being able to secure the awaited reward of walking the stage in front of your friends and family.

Cosmetology student Breanna Nardelli was thrust into this very situation on Oct. 17, after graduating her program at MC College in Calgary.

“It was a very last-minute idea despite being months after the class’s graduation date,” Nardelli said.

The graduation was hosted on a Zoom call for friends and family to watch their loved ones receive their diplomas.

Nardelli said that the ceremony only showed the graduates simply walk up to receive their certificate, and then walk down again.

“Neither the admin or director knew what to do,” she said.

“They didn’t even tell us what to expect until two minutes before the names started being called.”

“I really didn’t like the situation at all,” she remarked. “I wish it had been better planned, especially since we all worked hard to get this moment.”

Nardelli said that one of the worst parts was that she couldn’t see her family while she stepped onto stage for her brief moment.

“We paid $100 for such a lame moment, and we didn’t even get our cap and gown until a minute or two before the ceremony,” she said.

Due to this, she has no photos to celebrate the ceremony at all, except for a single blurry screenshot that her mother took as she walked onto the stage.

Not only was the ceremony disappointing, she also said that it was one of the most awkward situations she’s ever been involved in.

One of the upsides however, was that you could at least text your family during the ceremony, but only while you were waiting for your name to be called.

Nardelli’s boyfriend Jordan Sawatzky said he was “very disappointed in the event as a whole.”

He said he was expecting more for Nardelli, and that he felt it wasn’t fair for her after seeing the amount of work she put into her classes during the course of the year.

“This whole COVID thing is really putting a strain on every aspect of our lives,” he said.

Celebrate grad: Breanna Nardelli at home on Nov. 4, after graduating from the cosmetology program at MC College. (Photo by Devin Gaynor/SAIT)