Fall Convocation: A Time For Celebration And Bigger Things

by Shelbey Hernandez
The Lance – News Editor

She wakes up – something feels different. “Today is the day,” she says as a tiny smile forms. The excitement is muted and slowly escalates as the hours pass.

High school was easier, moved along quicker and was hardly challenging. But university…now that was a completely different story.

University had a lot more complexity. It was filled with red bull-induced nights, with coffee-hungry mornings, with hard work, with fewer hours spent with friends and more hours spent power-napping and studying at the campus library. Many sacrifices were made, many friends and family didn’t quite understand why she didn’t have as much time anymore. Sometimes she hated it and other times, it was the best part of her day.

So as she threw on her gown and placed her graduation hat upon her head, she was proud of herself, more proud than she had ever been before. Her hard work paid off. Hearing her name and walking across a stage for a piece of paper never felt so good.

Thousands of UWindsor students took this rite of passage during the fall convocation held on Oct. 15 at the St. Denis Centre. The convocation was spread across a two-session span, one session at 10 a.m. and one at 3 p.m. The first session included students from the faculties of engineering, nursing and science while the second session included students from the faculties of arts, humanities and social sciences; Odette School of business; education; human kinetics; and law.

Brieanne John, 22, was one of the students who graduated during Fall convocation. It was her first post-secondary graduation and her parents were present with the widest of smiles. John graduated with a bachelor honours degree in psychology and has an extensive plan. First, she will be working and then, she hopes to go back to school to get her social work degree.

There is a lot she loved about UWindsor, but there was one thing in particular she said she wouldn’t forget.

“Honestly, the learning,” said John, thinking back on her time at UWindsor and what she would miss the most. “I loved the classes, there are so many classes you wouldn’t even expect to enroll in when you sign up for university and those opportunities to learn those things is what I will definitely miss the most.”

Some like John came with a small group of supporters but others had supporters who could have taken up an entire row. That was the case with 24-year-old international student Yanique Bidal, who graduated from developmental psychology with thesis. Bidal and her family were vibrant, energetic and excited for the graduation day.

Bidal graduated with distinction, something not everyone is able to graduate with. Her hard work was clear. Even though she was technically finished back in June, the excitement was still there, albeit a tad muted compared to others.

Despite how hard she had to work, Bidal said she will still miss it.

“I made a lot of good friends here, so I will miss it,” said Bidal. “Sometimes I hate it, sometimes I love it, but I will miss it.”

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