Fanshawe College students celebrate first in-person Fall graduation in three years | CBC News
They toiled, they studied, helped each other and grew as people.
This week, thousands of Fanshawe College students graduate and pick up their diplomas at convocation ceremonies at Budweiser Gardens, ending one chapter of their lives and beginning another.
The two days of ceremonies are the first fall in-person convocation since 2019, and include students in everything from health to childcare, public safety to physical therapy.
Some grads told CBC News they were happy to experience a day they’ve waited a long time for. Others said they’re excited to keep their momentum going after securing their diplomas.
“It was one hell of a ride,” said Eseoghene Okorodudu, who graduated from Fanshawe’s pre-health science pathways program. Finishing each semester helped her set new priorities in the next, she said.
“At the end of the semester, you can set a goal for yourself and try to work toward achieving that goal.”
Okorodudu, 33, wants to continue studying to become a nurse. It’s important to balance school and life, especially during exam season, she said.
“I even had my baby while I was writing the exams. So I had to be resilient and just stay on course,” she said.
Cheryl Holroyd, 47, graduated from the Child and Youth Care program. Being a student helped her grow with her two daughters, she said.
“They’re understanding as to the work that I put into it, and have grown with me and have accepted the challenges and the effort and the time that I put into it,” she said, adding new students shouldn’t study alone.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are people out there that will stand by you and be there to help you up when you feel at your worst and there’s going to be wonderful opportunities,” she said
Brent McClure, another Child and Youth Care graduate, also received the Governor General Medal and a Dean’s Academic Award. The journey to earning those three achievements was life-changing, he said.
“I felt more connected with the world than I ever had,” he said, adding he became a better father, friend, neighbour and community member after struggling personally before studying at Fanshawe.
Any problem can become a solution, said McClure, 37.
“Some of those impossibilities aren’t impossible after we start breaking down those challenges, those problems and take things one by one. So the perspective is completely different.”
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