TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Hundreds of University of Alabama graduates crossed the stage on Saturday in a socially distanced fall graduation ceremony at the Coleman Coliseum.

This was the University’s second group of graduates to participate in a ceremony amid the pandemic. Graduates say despite facing a unique set of challenges, the experience only made them stronger.

“…it was kind of weird, just because we’ve been virtual for a while,” Thomas Langdon, UA graduate, said. “But being able to come in here and participate in the graduation ceremony, it really meant a lot to me and my family.”

“I’ve been used to having that face-to-face interaction, and without having that, [there’s] been a lot of room for procrastinating that I didn’t have before,” Kyler Garth, a UA graduate, said.

Despite obstacles faced, graduates say they are thankful for the support from the university and are looking towards their future optimistically.

“Luckily the professors here were very supportive and understanding, and we all just kind of supported each other during this time,” Serra Smith, another UA graduate, said.

“[I’m] just keeping my eyes focused on the future and just knowing this pandemic is not limiting, it’s what you make it,” Garth said.