College seniors share what it's like graduating during a pandemic

Thousands of college seniors celebrated the end of their college careers over the weekend, and more will graduate this week --  just not as they expected. 

Two seniors shared what it was like to achieve this milestone during a pandemic.

One of those seniors is Grant Bennett.

"You must know that 'I have power'" are the words he told a group of young boys.

He taught them to believe they have power, just like rapper J Cole taught him. Both from Fayetteville, North Carolina, the rapper put Morehouse College on Bennett's radar.

Now, four years later, Bennett will graduate from Morehouse on May 17 with a degree in psychology. Virtually, of course. 

"It was the time of my life. I really enjoyed my time at Morehouse," Bennett said. "Graduation is supposed to be the thing that closes that experience."

Morehouse College senior Grant Bennett isn't letting the pandemic take anything away from his accomplishment.

When he found out in-person graduation was canceled, he was on the baseball field.

"I was really in baseball mode. I wasn't thinking about graduation when everything came out. My initial hurt was that baseball season was over. As a senior, that was really my last chance," he said.

Bennett looks forward to celebrating his time at Morehouse when he can officially walk this December. Morehouse postponed its May graduation to Dec. 13.

Meanwhile, Georgia State University senior Natalie Raymond received cheers and congratulations on a Zoom call.

"I feel like I had more people on my Zoom call than I would have had in person," Raymond said. "It was just more personal to me than sitting in a stadium screaming out loud, even though my sisters did recreate that part."

Natalie Raymond graduated from Georgia State University during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although Raymond was not able to walk across the stage last Friday, she still received her elementary school education degree that her sisters printed out for her.

"I was just sad all the way up to [graduation], but my sisters were like 'We're not going to have you sad. You only graduate from undergrad once,' so I'm really forever thankful for them."