Tuesday was Reading Day at RIT, where students prepare for final exams that begin Wednesday — the end to an unusual semester.
“It’s definitely been a change," Mechanical engineering major Sean Mahaney said. "Online classes are different.”
For Mahaney, these are his final final exams.
“It’s definitely tough knowing college is over, college life has been nice,” Mahaney said.
His last semester didn’t go exactly as he imagined, with online classes having both its positives and negatives. Even all the final exams are online.
“It’s nice being able to go to class in PJs, but it’s definitely trickier learning some things on my own,” Mahaney said.
But he’s rolled with the punches.
“I would have rather walked across the stage and whatnot, but I’ve learned to adapt and it hasn’t been too bad,” Mahaney said.
Others like computer science major Esteban Polanco are nearing the ends of their journey too, but COVID-19 has threatened his college trajectory.
“I had my co-op set up for two semesters, it was going to be summer and fall and then I was going to take my last semester of classes in spring, which would’ve been great, but then this hits,” Polanco said.
Still, he believes RIT took appropriate action, and he’s sure the school will be there to help.
“I don’t think it’s completely hopeless. I think there’s a lot I can do, and I’m confident that RIT will allow for certain allowances,” Polanco said.
For Mahaney, it’s off to the U.S. Navy, where he’ll further his studies to join the submarine force. He’s thankful to the university for so much.
“I’ll miss my friends up here and I had some good professors over the years, so it’s going to be tough leaving RIT," Mahaney said. "But I feel that I’m pretty ready, so it’s OK.”
RIT will be hosting a virtual commencement for students on May 8, but the school says it still plans to hold an in-person ceremony when it’s safe to do so.