COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The lines to get inside Ohio Stadium were long Sunday morning, but the spirits were high as Ohio State University celebrated the Class of 2022.

And while spirits were high, graduates, friends, and family gathered to celebrate the accomplishment of finishing their college careers, but that career did not come without some challenges.

College isn’t easy, and success doesn’t come without hard work.

“Be proud,” graduate Michelle Dixon said. “You made the sacrifices and you put forth the work.”

The Class of 2022 knows exactly what that means. In 2020, the school, like the rest of the world, had to change the way it operated, from virtual learning to masks, college wasn’t the way they imagined.

But they pulled through.

“I think you just have to believe in yourself and push through the bad times and remember what you’re doing this for and keep trying,” said graduate Tate Dixon.

Sunday’s ceremony was a reminder of those good times: a no-restrictions graduation welcoming thousands of Buckeyes and their supporters.

“I found a lot of support just talking to my professors and my friends,” said graduate Kelsey Wallace.

Now these graduates, with their experience, are offering their advice for the next class.

“Just follow your dreams and do what makes your heart happy,” said master’s graduate Jazmin Arce. “If you get to come to a school like Ohio State, choose the path that’s going to make you happy.”

The university awarded 12,345 degrees during Sunday’s two graduation ceremonies.