PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y (CBSNewYork) — The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting us all in different degrees, and especially those pursuing a college degree as part of the class of 2020.

The fun, intense, final weeks of their final semester have been now forever changed by coronavirus, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Thursday.

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At a time of social distancing, senior nursing students could be forgiven for one group hug, as they said goodbye to Pace University, which is closed, like virtually every school during the pandemic.

“It’s very unfortunate that my senior year has come to an end this way, because I can’t get any of the celebrations that I wanted. I can’t do anything with friends,” Jessica Seitz said.


Jessica will spend the rest of the semester home with mom, Michelle, in Richmond Hill, Queens.

“Trying to keep myself calm, and reassure her that it, yeah, we know it’s you right now, but you have to look at the bigger picture. This is affecting the entire country,” Michelle Seitz said.

Indeed, college campuses across the country are ghost towns. Iona in New Rochelle is on spring break. Students won’t be returning.

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Pace senior Italee Brown-Smikle said goodbye to her dorm on Thursday.

“So, yes, I won’t get to make some of the memories that I want, but it’s like, I’m safe, I’m healthy, I’ll be okay,” Brown-Smikle said.

She said she’s grateful she at least got to complete her final home game on Feb. 22 for the Pace basketball team.

“Unlike other athletes, I got to see my senior season through,” Brown-Smikle said.

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Many colleges do intend to provide the class of 2020 some graduation “pomp” despite the difficult circumstance of their final semester. Pace President Marvin Krislov promises seniors commencement has only been postponed — not cancelled.

“These seniors have worked so hard. We’re so proud of them. We’re thinking about all sorts of options right now,” Krislov said. “It is a postponement, and we are gonna have a commencement. They deserve it. They deserve everything we can do to show our appreciation at their accomplishments.”

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Until then, it’s time to hug it out and move on home.