As we look back on this academic year at Orange Coast College and honor those graduating, the Coast Report Editorial Board would like to acknowledge what an incredible year it has been. In spite of the many technological and social challenges that the 2020-2021 academic school year brought with it, students forged on, logged on, submitted assignments virtually, and found ways to stay motivated to make it all the way through to the finish line.
Students dug deep and found it within themselves to keep going, to reach out and find the inspiration to persevere through an entire year of virtual learning. Although it may not have been the most fun year of anyone’s college life, it certainly was memorable.
We at the Coast Report found strength and motivation through the incredible work that students were doing despite it all. We attended virtual student media conferences that brought together student journalists across California and the U.S. We followed the Giles T. Brown Research Symposium and learned about the groundbreaking research being conducted by OCC students. We checked in with the student government and watched them continue to advocate for their fellow students via Zoom. We watched OCC’s baseball team head back to the field to not only play, but to win the Orange Empire Conference. We agonized over how to cover a campus that was closed, but we ultimately discovered that there was a whole lot going on behind the scenes.
The Dance Department kept on dancing, the Film Department kept on filming, Culinary Arts kept cooking, art students kept painting, mathematicians and scientists kept formulating and researching, and so on. If there is one thing that we have learned this year, it’s that OCC students and faculty are resilient, creative, passionate and motivated. Not even a pandemic could stop their curiosity and commitment to progress.
There were days when students and faculty alike had a hard time logging on and sitting through another day of class on Zoom. There were days when students logged on with fingers trembling and hearts pounding, ready to deliver important presentations, eager to learn. In spite of the challenges, students and faculty forged on.
Everyone graduating deserves a star somewhere on their diploma denoting that not only did they do the work, they got it done remotely in the middle of a pandemic. As challenging as it was, OCC students and faculty rose to the occasion to create a year full of milestones, memories and achievements. Now graduates will head off to their next adventures knowing that they have the strength within them to overcome obstacles never before seen in educational history.
This year has been one for the memoirs, indeed, and we at Coast Report could not have kept doing what we do without the hard work of both students and faculty. It may have seemed like a long year, but it was a transformative one and as we step over to the other side of the spring semester, we can look back with pride knowing that when the going got tough we all got tougher.