Former 8News intern talks about her online graduation experience

Local News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Former 8News Intern Diara Roberson expected to walk across the stage at the Richmond Convention Center and receive her diploma — a moment she had been looking forward to since starting her studies at Virginia Commonwealth University.

However, the coronavirus pandemic affected her plans like it has for many other college students graduating this year.

Roberson told 8News she watched her college graduation from her couch with her parents.

“It didn’t really feel like I graduated,” Roberson said. “It’s just I know I graduated today so I feel accomplished, but it didn’t really feel like a graduation because I am at home.”

The recent grad was expecting to have friends and family come in from different states to help celebrate this big accomplishment. Many of her family members had booked hotels and were excited to visit Richmond for her graduation. But instead, Roberson’s graduation got moved online.

“Graduating from the computer was definitely an experience,” Roberson said.

Roberson received degree in Mass Communications from VCU’s Roberston School. VCU is just one of many universities that decided to move lessons online following the coronavirus outbreak. That eventually led to move commencement online as well.

“I had the anticipation of getting, you know, getting up early that morning, putting my dress and my cap and gown on and going up to the convention center, being nervous to like walk across the stage with my heels on and I didn’t get that experience,” Roberson said.

At the end of the day, Roberson said she and her family made the best out of the situation. They ordered brunch from a local spot and she said they made her feel accomplished.

As for the future, Roberson said it still remains uncertain. The graduate said she is taking time to focus on a plan for her career.

“This has slowed me down more than anything,” Roberson said. “Before this happened, I was like on my grind, and now I am just focusing on what exactly I want to do.”

As a result of changes this year, VCU has invited all 2020 graduates to participate in the winter commencement exercises which are scheduled to take place on December 12.

Roberson told 8News she hopes she gets a chance to walk across the stage.

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