Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

Zach Swasta

Visual and Media Arts

May 10, 2020

When I got the email that said campus was closing, I was in the library. I tend to linger sometimes there when I know I should probably head home, and this day I really wish I did go home early, be- cause having to digest that on the T home was not ideal at all. It was the exact same feeling when I knew I was about to receive news that my grand-mother had passed away. A whole cloud covers everyone, because you can kind of feel it in the air, everyone is getting notified at the same time. You are surrounded by people who are now feeling exactly the same as you. It was weird because I can never tell how other people are feeling. But this time, the confusion of what was going on, and what we were headed towards, all started to kick in.

I was naive enough to think that it was only going to end with Emerson. I didn’t think for a second, in the moment, that it would actually become this widespread across the country. I was initially afraid of 2020, even before all this, because of my graduation year. Once you get that diploma, it’s like, well, what am I going to do now? What’s my job outlook? And now it’s only gotten even grayer, because it feels like the industry itself has been shut down.

I spent three years in community college before Emerson. I can understand the pain of seniors that have been here since freshman year, but I had to condense four years into two. And it was not, and has not, been easy. I’ve wanted to come to Emerson since I was a junior in high school, in 2014, and to see it crash like this, I take as a personal slap in the face—not that I have anyone to blame. There has never been a time when I anticipated my education more than Emerson, ever. This was the only time I ever wanted to willingly be come a part of an educational institution.

People want to move commencement to the fall, and some people might be worried, ‘Well, what if we’re not available in the fall?’ and I’m saying I will be available for fall no matter what. This was a milestone. It was enough that I got accepted to begin with—I have never felt a happier moment in my life than when I opened the acceptance letter. Never has there been a more joyful or proud moment, that I kind of felt like maybe I did matter. If I were to have the option to walk next year, with the class of 2021, I would take that in a heartbeat.

An accomplishment that I know I did do was establishing the Access Student Disability Union. Because that I know, even if it doesn’t directly relate to what I came here for, I will have made a difference for our future Emersonians.

I hope that we will continue to help each other out. I know I can’t ask for a rain check for experiences missed. I can plead to Lee Pelton all I want but that’s not his problem. It sucks. I was really looking forward to going out with a bang, and now it feels like I’m going out with a crunch.

Photo of Dana Gerber
Dana Gerber, News Editor

Dana Gerber  graduated in 2022. She previously served as the News Editor at The Beacon, writing and overseeing coverage spanning all areas of interest on the Emerson Campus, including breaking news and long-form deep-dive articles. She hails from Rockville, Maryland, and is a contributing writer at Bethesda Magazine, a local publication. She has also written for Cosmopolitan Magazine, Mic.com, and Boston Magazine. When she is not busy burying herself...

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