You’re Graduating In A Pandemic. What’s Next?

from Brookings

Graduation is always an anxious time for young people on the threshold of the “real world,” but COVID-19 has created new uncertainties. For Generation Z, students’ final semesters are not exactly going as planned. Rather than celebrating with friends, many are worrying about finding a job while living in their childhood bedrooms. In recent years, I held career seminars for students across the country (with those tips published here). During this era of social distancing, I’ve moved these discussions online and adapted my advice.

More here.

Posted in Education, Future Thinking and tagged , , , .

34 Comments

  1. I feel bad for the young adults who are graduating in 2020, as they are missing out on the acknowledgment that they have accomplished their goals they have been working toward for years. This author lays out fantastic advice for student entering the work force and missing graduations, and highlights some values that will surely benefit readers even long after we put the coronavirus behind us. Her first subheading titled “Grieve” is particularly important to let kids know that it is okay to feel upset when something like this is taken from them, and that this is perfect practice to understand life’s unpredictability. I hope that as people grow to embrace the unpredictability of their lives, and practice their creativity and empathy to propel themselves forward through the endless competition and hardships that is in front of them. According to the article, “ Airbnb, Pinterest , Square, Stripe, Uber, and Whatsapp were founded during the 2008 financial crisis” showing the gap that is opening for creative people to fill with new innovation. I appreciate this articles understanding of the importance of mental health as I have seen companies treat employees horribly and suffer the consequences as the employee loses faith in the system and produces low quality efforts. The note that first jobs are only temporary and is not forever by any means will help human’s to stay happy. Arguably the most important piece of advice in the article is when the author say to focus on the present above all else. While we cannot control many of the factors in this pandemic that will stop the spread, you can choose to be happy. The author explains that achieving contentment requires us to “place as few conditions as possible on happiness” which points to an internal source of the emotion that cannot be gained through over analyzing or materialism. Finding happiness is important for people of all ages, and can definitely help children to be grateful for their experiences and not complain about the things they miss. The experience of staying socially distant and quarantining ourselves to achieve the greatest societal good has put some things into perspective that will make for a better all around society.

  2. With the abrupt change in the course of this past semester, I can’t help but feel bad for those were supposed to be graduating. Aside from some of my friends at Seton Hall, my sister was among the many students expecting to graduate as the class of 2020. It most definitely has not been easy for her as she is now living at home with us for an extended period, which she has not done in four years. It’s hard to see her as she is missing the last of her college experience from living in a college house with her friends, not being able to attend classes, and even having to stop working her first “real” job. I actually forwarded this article to her and one of the things that I liked most about the article was how many different things it listed from being empathetic to understanding that first jobs are not forever and even volunteering while job hunting. Though this article is specifically aimed to those who are leaving college in the very near future, there were also some major takeaways that I think apply to someone at any stage of life. One thing that I liked the most was that this article encouraged grieving; everyone is missing something right now whether it be school, work, loved ones or anything else. However, there are so many people across the internet right now trying to tell people that missing something like Prom is stupid and shallow. However, this article is saying that it is important to recognize this loss and I believe that it is important to do so no matter how trivial it might be to someone else. For example, I miss my walks to campus every morning and the kids that I babysat nearly every day. While these may seem like silly things to grieve for in such a time of crisis, these were things that I cherished and now miss, and I want to be able to grieve these losses. Right now, I feel that there are so many small things that people are missing and if we are not allowed the opportunity to grieve these seemingly insignificant losses, its going to make it harder to adapt and move forward from this situation that we are facing now.

  3. My brother is graduating from college and my sister is graduating from high school come this May/June. I cannot fully imagine the disappointment that they are both going through. For me, I kind of relate the current pandemic to that of the Great Recession, as far as the job market and job security are concerned. Much like those graduating in 2008 and 2009, there are plenty of students graduating now that are now more concerned about securing a job in this market.

    Companies have begun layoffs and furloughed millions of employees due to COVID-19. The unemployment rate is higher now than what it was at the height of the economic crisis 11 years ago. Graduates who have been extended job offers may have seen them rescinded or may have had the offers switched up. Granted, this is not the case for every type of job – my brother is a Chemical Engineer and his employer is proceeding as normal with all of the new hires. On top of that, there are a multitude of college students that were hoping for internships and have now seen them suspended or cancelled completely. With valuable corporate experience going out the window – this sets an unprecedented delay and concern with progressing further. What’s different, ultimately, is that this pandemic is reliant on us staying at home and coming up with a vaccine to suppress it. There are no economic changes that can really be made to better the markets in the same sense that the Federal Government and other companies were able to do in the past.

    The current circumstances most certainly change the environment in the near future with the very clear possibility of changing it forever.

  4. Social distancing has given everyone around the world time to sit back and think. What else it their to do when your alone with your thoughts 24/7. This time gives people perspective that they otherwise would not have had. It makes you realize everything you have to be grateful for. As this article alludes to, not everyone is able to quarantine equally. Some people are able to work from home and make the same amount of money they would have made otherwise. Citizens who rely on being able to show up to warehouses in order to feed their family, are worrying about where there next paycheck will come. I work in the restaurant industry and my manager duals as a bartender. During this social distancing, people are obviously not allowed to go to bars. He used to make upwards of 600 dollars 5 nights a week bartending and now he makes a fraction of that. He opened my eyes to how unreliable unemployment can be and how lucky I am that my parents have jobs that are deemed “necessary.” Everyday I go to work I can see the worry on my managers face, because he has a family to support and no way to do it. He has not seen a dollar of unemployment money, and his paycheck as a manager is not nearly sufficient.

    Without being able to occupy yourself with your normal daily tasks, people are forced to sit at home and think about what they could be doing productively with their time. I feel so out of touch with with whats going on in the world. This article makes me realize that I need to only focus on what I can control. I cant be worried about things that I have no control over. What I can do is make sure I’m working hard on my classes, networking and putting myself in a good position for when social distancing ends. Everything else should fall in place.

  5. I could not understand what graduating students are going through right now. They put in all this work for the past four years whether it is a high school or college. Their time was finally about to come and it was time to celebrate their big achievement of graduating. Now there is an outbreak going on which is causing social distancing which restricts the number of people that could be together in one gathering. The article was interesting in how the author gave suggestions on how people should react to losing out on one of the biggest days in our young lives. The author made her steps look like guidelines for people to follow so this doesn’t affect them that bad. I would not be sad that I missed graduation but I would be mad that I would not get a senor prom of that I would not be able to throw a graduation party or even go hang out with all my friends for the whole summer after.
    These kids are missing out on a lot and they can not do anything about it. Everything that is going o right now is out of their hands. They can only sit back and watch and hope that something goes their way because they have been losing it all lately. The article tells them that they should start worrying more about the present instead of the future, but the present has them just sitting at home wishing they were still able to live the life they had before social distancing. If I were in their shoes, I would not be focusing on the present right now and I would be looking ahead to better times away fro disease.

  6. There is no way that I can feel the pain that the seniors are feeling because I still have three more years left of college. However, I do know and understand how fast time flies, therefore, I can imagine the grief that they are going through during this difficult time. To think, they put in countless hours of work and tears into a degree that was told too them would help pursue a future in a work related field. Now, it is quite unsure what their future will hold and everyone has been told to keep foucs on the present, but it is hard even for me to not focus on my future. I do think that it is important to grieve first and talk out the pain because keeping it bottled up will make things worse. What Amanda Sloat mentioned in her article about having empathy, was very important in my opinion because if anything, this pandemic is an eyeopener to show that more people need help and or those that can offer it,they are taking resources for granted. We all need to come together and help one another progress. As to what’s next, I have personally been trying my hand at helping the youth and volunteering with different groups to peek different interests. Ms. Sloat’s idea of interning and volunteering at this point is what will help Generation Z move forward because although terrifying, at this point jobs are not promised. Additionally, I agree that it is important for us to be creative in our ways to make profit because I was not aware that apps such as Uber, Whatsapp, and Pinterest were created during the 2008 recession. Now that weare going through another one of sorts, our endgame will hopefully put the economy back on track.

  7. This article is very insightful even as a freshman, as the issue and situations presented to seniors at this time affect us as well now and may persist in the future upon our own graduations. The advice given is helpful in coping and setting goals to guide you through this pandemic. One of the most important parts of moving through this, they say, is grieving, and understanding that challenges like this won’t be the last you’ll see in your career, let alone your lifetime. Life is filled with unpredictable moments, and with the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, things are honestly just getting started. We are heading into a time of change and that means being ready to adapt whenever necessary. With that tip in mind, its also important to realize that your career will feature some unpredictability. Your skillset after graduating college have a lifespan of about 6 years, as compared to not too long ago when the lifespan of your skills was 30. Business’s are looking for more unique, creative, and critically thinking candidates now more than ever, and your ability to adapt and stand out can make a huge difference when trying to survive. Being able to learn how to utilize the digital space specifically will launch you leagues ahead of those who cannot or won’t, since digital and online based services are becoming more popular than ever. This fits in with learning how to be more creative, creativity will make your work endeavors stand out and creative ideas tend to be the ones that work. Just like the robot delivery drones that are scurrying around, delivering food to customers in quarantine, many other innovations can be made considering the situation. Circumstances like these are counter intuitively the breeding grounds for some of the best success stories, and it depends on how you approach the situation and the mentality you set yourself forward with. Those that think outside of the box, can accept that the world is changing and adapt to it, and are ready to accept new challenges are the ones who will come out on top.

  8. COVID 19 has had countless effects on countless people in countless areas of life. One of these is obviously graduating students not being able to celebrate their accomplishments in the way that they had hoped. For seniors in college in particular, this is tough as they look for work in a changed world. I know that COVID 19 will change a lot of things in my own life, but I will have time to prepare for it. For the seniors graduating this year, they are being thrust into a world that they may not have been prepared for. I know that they are struggling with this much more than I can really think about on the spot. I am stressed out over finding a summer job this summer because I need money to pay for my house next year. I also need to save up for a car, gas, and insurance for next year. This is just what I am stressing about for a summer job, let alone the beginning of a career. I know a few high school seniors upset that they will not have their accomplishments recognized in graduation, and that is just high school. College students surely poured more of themselves into completing college. Today is a different day. This sucks for everyone, especially the seniors, but the most beautiful rose grows from the cracks. Adversity is just a tool that we use to become stronger, and I have no doubts that the Class of 2020 will come back stronger

  9. I thought this article offered wonderful pieces of advice to graduating students who are most definitely one of the most affected groups by this virus. I think that this situation is especially hard on them given that this will ruin the job market and they are just now entering the workforce. It is a brutal reality and utterly disappointing that these graduates cannot have a normal life and entrance into the working world. I know that if I lost my final year at college to this pandemic, I would be very disappointed. My sister is a high school senior currently about to graduate. I know how stressful this situation is for her, especially since starting college normally next semester is not guaranteed by any means. For college graduates, this is probably cripplingly stressful. I think that the government will need to somehow step in during this crisis when it comes to unemployment and other issues of that nature. Another thing I think is probably a huge issue for recently graduated students is the issue of rent. Many college students are probably on their own when it comes to paying for their living situation, and many cities have discussed the issue of rent. Some have suggested that a rent freeze should be put in place to prevent people from losing their homes and or going into crippling debt. Regardless, I thought that the piece of advice that was the most interesting was the idea that graduates should reconsider the possibility of working for or with the government. I think that in a situation like this, a government job is quite ideal and a reliable source of salary for newly graduated students. Another bit of advice I found quite interesting was the e-intern program. I think that programs like this should be taken advantage of especially because they allow individuals to experiment with what sort of work they enjoy doing. I think another thing graduates need to prepare for is the inevitability of having to work gig jobs, or working from home. COVID-19 has changed everything, and it will continue to change the world as we know it.

  10. Fortunately for me, I do not have to undergo the loss of such an important milestone in life, but many of my friends and family do. Whether it be high school graduation, prom, college graduation, or more, it still affects the individual just as negatively. They will not be able to walk across the stage and be handed their diploma, take prom pictures with their friends, or even find a job like they would have before this pandemic surfaced in these United States. I truly feel for them, as the memories I was able to create this time last year will carry on with me forever. The memories of this year will certainly be unfrogettable, but in a much different way. Perhaps you would call it the new normal, but I really do hope that these students can find the strength that they need to move on and grow from this troubling experience.

    The article was very interesting and definitely a good reminder to those graduating this semester in hopes of starting their career some way or another. Most noteworthy to me was the point regarding first jobs. Recognizing that the first job they get during or after this pandemic will be extremely hard to get, and probably not what they may have had in mind is very important. Many jobs, especially the ones you may not think much of, can grant endless opportunities in ways you could not have ever imagined. Manifesting positive energy into these jobs they may take on is a great way to combat these difficult times. Considering that, putting your all into even the little tasks is vital in preparing yourself for the new normal and altered future of the workforce. Not only does this pertain to college graduates, but even the previously employed. Mothers, fathers, and people who may have gotten fired or furloughed from their jobs must prepare for what is to come ahead- and that all starts with the first job they land after the pandemic.

  11. I think that man teens need to start reading more articles like these on a daily basis. What I just said is a major issue with our generation. I think that not enough are surfing the internet in the right ways. We certainly all understand how to use it better than any other generation, and yet we do not consume the right things from it. We are too busy consuming negativity and pointless content that when we graduate, we frantically scramble because we were not surfing for advice of what to do and what trends are so that we can get a good paying job once school is over. Now more than ever, the number of frantic students has increased 10 fold. Not only do they have the stress of finding a job to pay back their hefty college loans, they now have to do so in an environment that no one prepared them for. All of us have been groomed to go into a physical interview and know how to act hopefully by the time we are out of college. We learn body language, how to dress, what are some key questions to ask, and how to make ourselves truly different in a vast environment. Now, all of that has gone out of the drain because most things are online, including your job and internship. For graduating students, it is their job and for current students it is internships. In terms of graduating students, many of jobs are not there right now until this pandemic is over. It is up to them to come up with creative solutions to adapt and overcome. That creative thinking is what companies are looking for so if we can tell them what we need then we have a better chance of filling the role we create for them. It also important that we understand that time is our best friend at this age. It is not an issue if you do not get a job right out of college. Make sure you are putting yourself in positions that you enjoy where you are always meeting new people and the perfect opportunity might even find you. The important mindset to develop is relax because if you are trying, everything will workout in due time.

  12. During this time we are in with this whole Covid-19 pandemic a lot of people are only focusing on the now, things like how are they going to survive this pandemic, what are the essential things that need and mainly people are trying their best to stock up on food. Not many people are thinking about where to go after this pandemic pass, the people who are really thinking about the aftermath are those with businesses and those who are graduating from college. Many people thought that they were going just graduate college normally then they were going to have their graduation parties and finally go to the job that they expected to have. But let us be honest with ourselves this pandemic has opened everyone’s eyes and I like the article that talks about some tips to help you adjust to this pandemic. My favorite tips were understanding that life is unpredictable, first jobs are not forever, be creative and focus on the present. With understanding that life is unpredictable you have to realize that anything can really happen at any time, you might think that you had a job lined up for you after graduation but maybe because of this pandemic the company you were going to work at had to make some cuts and now it is the first in first out principle meaning you do not have a job anymore after graduation. So, it is best to always be prepared that anything can happen. You first job is not the job you will be working in your whole life, times have changed you will most likely stay in a job for maybe 5 years before you switch and you will probably have a few jobs before you finally settle in one. Be creative is important because creativity has not been encouraged from our your lives so as we grow old w seem to get less creative but if you are able to practice creativity and hone this skill then you will be a largely sought for asset in general. Lastly focus on the present is a nice tip because focusing too much on the future can make you forgot about the things that you need to do now in the present in order to reach that future that you so badly dream about. I just think that it is important during this pandemic to think about what it is that you can do to help anyone who is in need or to prepare you for after the pandemic.

  13. The United States has never faced an event that has impacted every level of society like the COVID-19 pandemic since the times of the Spanish Flu towards the end of World War 1 and World War in the 1940s. Because of this, citizens are distraught over the way this pandemic is going to change our society and culture forever. One area of our society that this pandemic is affecting directly is the seniors of universities that are graduating this year. They will be graduating via online chat platforms such as Zoom or Skype. But that is not the brunt of the impact. The real trouble for these graduating students is that the are being delivered into a possibly volatile economy. It is like the graduating students who graduated amidst the 2008 recession. These students are going to be striving for employment at unprecedented near. The shift of the economy this year may see to a rise in structural unemployment across the United States and the word. To combat this, it is best to ensure you have not only a four year degree but skills that can actually help you survive in a world where normal structured jobs are few in number. Freelancing jobs may increase drmatcially due to the increase of laid off employees and the quarantine restrictions that have been put into place. Also, this pandemic may reappear in the fall stronger than it has earlier this year which could create an even bigger disaster for the economy and the jobs market.

  14. As many high school students are beginning to come to terms with not being able to graduate, they are faced with many uncertainties surrounding college and their future endeavors. These students were finally getting ready to go off into the world on their own but this summer they find themselves disconnected from all of their friends and graduating course. One thing from the article I agree with is that this teaches young people how unforeseen events can quickly arise and make a significant change. With nothing to do, many of these students move their sights to securing a job or some way to gain profit during this down time. Internships have also proven to be a beneficial alternative to gain some experience before entering that field of work. Another way to gain experience is to surf around for volunteering opportunities in your local area. This pandemic definitely teaches us that no matter how much we try to save and protect our futures, our main priority needs to be addressing the needs we are presented with right now so we are ensured to have a future. We have also learned that hard times like this further separates the wealth gap between the rich and poor, making the need for a competent government that much more important because of the large impact they have on our lives. This quarantine downtime you are presented with can be a great opportunity to find other passions on or offline that can make you a decent amount of money. Some of the greatest inventions came during national crises. We can definitely take many positives away from these experiences and while we are in it, it is best to only control what you can control. There is no doubt it must be hard not being able to graduate with your lifelong friends but the safety of these people is essential as well. We have seen many positives during this pandemic including the ability to transition and utilize technology to perform business and keep the education process flowing. It would be very beneficial to keep exploring alternate ways to conduct these aspects of life with the simplicity that the internet provides.

  15. Graduating during this pandemic could not have made for worse timing. Not experiencing an actual graduation ceremony should be the least of our concerns. Missing out on a bit of pomp and circumstance will not haunt our memories forever. What is more dreadful in truly entering the world at our most financially vulnerable during the worst recession since the housing bubble collapse. I am not graduating this semester, yet I use first person plural pronouns because it is likely that the effects of this economic downturn will be long lasting, and my class will feel aftershocks two years from now. Thankfully, the federal government and other agencies have been doing their utmost to relieve the various burdens on families. Most of my immediate household is on unemployment, while the recent government stimulus check has also been most welcomed. I believe that fiscal priorities will eventually overrule quarantine procedures, and the state will soon reopen at least partially, in the interest of maintaining their annual beach revenue (even if our return to the outside world is accompanied by social distancing guidelines). Provided the coronavirus begins to dwindle in this country, and I am hopeful that it will soon, other states will follow suit. There is also the possibility that our fears are rather unwarranted, and that the economy will bounce back twice as far as it fell down. In this country, lost time equals lost money, and I expect that many companies will work awfully hard to make up for so much lost time. With this in mind, hopeful seniors this year will not struggle all that much, and the future prospects for my class in 2022 will be, with a little luck, benign.

  16. Honestly Im glad Im not a senior in the graduating class of 2020 mainly because I feel like they are missing out on a lot of great opportunities and its not there fault, I had so much fun in the last few weeks of my senior year, from prom to graduation I made so memories I will never forget, with that said I hope the graduating seniors in college and high school are able to make up these events. This article from Brookings gives advice to the graduating class and what they can do next, first the article says to “Grieve” meaning that you should recognize that you’ve experienced a loss, one major loss this graduating class faces is job opportunities, while most of the time companies are looking forward to hire new bright young minds fresh out of college, Covid-19 has not only effected innocent lives but it also has majorly effected the unemployment rate which has majorly gone up in the last two months as businesses have been forced to close or downsize which will make them reluctant to hire new people until this pandemic is over, which really is the most important opportunity this graduating class is missing out on. The next important point the article brings up is to “Understand life’s unpredictability”, this is saying that this may not be the only time were we are faced with a major problem like Covid-19 so we need to learn for this experience and be prepared for life’s unpredictability. I think this article can go a long way in terms of making the graduating class of 2020 feel a little bit better about the future as we will all get through this together, there is a massive debate in America right now on if we should open all businesses back up in the midst of Covid-19 as some Americans believe we are hurting the economy, I would say for places like New York and New Jersey that would be very dangerous as I feel the threat of be infected is very imminent but honestly have nothing to back up that information except for my gut instinct.

  17. Almost no one could have predicted the current situation our nation is currently in. After being almost two months of quarantine, I think it is safe to say that multiple people have adjusted to these new normal standards for the time being. That being said, there are still a lot of conditions that people may never to be able to adjust to. Amanda Sloat’s article addresses the concerns that many students today are facing about their education, as well as their graduation. The class of 2020 has had to make a lot of sacrifices in order to adhere to the Covid19 guidelines. While I sympathize with the 2020 graduates, their health and safety is more important then walking on a stage to get their degree. I may be biased when I say this; my junior year of high school, I transferred to an online school and did not attend my senior prom or graduation with my old classmates. At the time, I certainly felt isolated but eventually it wasn’t hard to realize that I still had those people in my life, and all I did was miss a few events. I know not everyone will have the same opinion, but at times like these it is important to take a different viewpoint on our situation. Along with this, it is important to be flexible. The experiences we are going through, and how we overcome them will have a greater effect on us than walking on a stage to get a degree that was going to be mailed to us would have. Being flexible allows us to explore new ideas and hobbies that could ultimately become careers for some of us. Personally, I know for a fact that I would not have been as intrigued with learning about technology if it wasn’t the new standard it is right now. It is important to address current needs over past goals during times like these, and while it is a shame that the class of 2020 had to make these sacrifices, it will support everyone in the long run.

  18. With me being a senior and taking my final two classes as a student this summer this is such a reality for me. Covid-19 has had such a big impact on the class of 2020 for both high school and college. The uncertainly with when the world is going to open and when and if colleges are going to open for the fall semester. For me, the past three months I have been doing nothing but wondering! The real world is scary by itself when bills start coming in such as student loans, car insurance, and groceries and no one is hiring, what do you do? The article talks about how life is unpredictable and this could not be anything more than the truth. I tried to plan what what I was going to do after graduation and applied to so many jobs that just call to tell me that they are delaying their hiring process. The thing I really didn’t like about the article even though it does touch on some good points about life it doesn’t take into account the fact of what is going to happen when this Covid-19 situation is over. In my opinion, life is going to take about a year to go back to normal and then there is going to be another set of college grads looking for jobs. So now the class of 2020 is competing with a whole new class with the same amount of jobs and it is hard enough to find a job in a regular situation. Long story short Covid-19 is going to be very hard to overcome as a whole 2020 class.

  19. Senior year is one of the greatest years of one’s life, as there are many events, but one of the most important events that all students look forward to throughout their whole academic career is graduation. While I am not a senior this year, I do have many family members graduating from college and high school, who unfortunately have to miss out on the real graduation experience. This unexpected uncertainty has affected many, but especially seniors as they don’t get to experience their last semester as many graduating classes before them got to experience. While this is a time of worry for many seniors of the graduating class, it is a time for them to learn and prepare more for what’s to come in their future. Every senior graduate looks forward to this accomplishment in their life as it signifies that they have completed all of the work necessary to go into the real world to work professionally. One of the main things that many seniors are worried about is the lack of jobs within the workforce, as right now the unemployment rates are astronomical. Many graduating seniors are looking for jobs, however, at this point in time, there are not many jobs available to apply for because of many offices closing down during this time. People are struggling to make money in order to provide for themselves and their families. While seniors don’t get the traditional graduation and senior year that they hoped for, it does not take away from any of the accomplishments they deserve for completing their schooling over the past several years.
    Throughout the article, there were many interesting facts, but the one fact that really stuck out to me is that your first jobs aren’t forever. When it comes to one’s first job no matter if it involves working in a restaurant, at a grocery store, etc., it does not impact one’s future career path. Especially during a time like this where we are experiencing this pandemic, jobs are not going to be easy to get, as many people are going to be applying for work once the economy starts to reopen. A person’s first job is just a way for them to get their foot in the door and experience what working in the real world is like. As I have a job within the athletic department at our university, which has helped me get firsthand experience as to what it is like working within the sports management field. Another point of emphasis within this article that I found very amusing was the thought of being creative. During this time where many people are stuck at home, they are coming up with new ways to keep themselves busy, all while having the benefit to help other people out at the same time. For example, students ranging from grade 6 all the way through college graduates have been coming up with ways in order to produce face masks, shields, and various other personal protectant equipment to help out the front-line workers who may be lacking these supplies. Also, workers are coming up with ways to provide their customers with the items they need, but in a different, but more cautious way. The creativity within people and businesses has been exhibited during this pandemic, as we can only do so much during the day, so in order to keep ourselves busy we come up with new ways in order to help others out. It has been a very difficult few months due to this pandemic, especially for the senior class who couldn’t fulfill their senior year in normality.

  20. COVID-19 has caused quite a disturbance within society, altering everyone’s day to day actions. I personally have felt the impact from the pandemic, but maybe not as much as those that are graduating or working the front line. This article identifies multiple actions that the graduating classes of 2020 can take as they receive their diplomas online. Amanda Sloat did a really good job with the advice that she offered within the article as many people do not know what to do when life takes a turn for the worse. I personally could not imagine graduating college right now and having the huge fear of not finding a job. Amanda Sloat gives hope to these graduates by reinforcing that first jobs are not forever and you must understand that life can be unpredictable. Life always comes along twists and turns so if you anticipate them at all times, you can be better prepared for them. These graduates are going to struggle right out of college, but it will prepare them for the future and the other curve balls that will be thrown at them. Many employers will empathize with these graduates that are searching for a job and offer them assistance. Future employers will also recognize that these students gave their all in tough times and be more apt to hire them. I really do empathize with the graduating classes as I personally know people that have graduated and lost out on opportunities due to the pandemic. A friend of mine was not able to play his final basketball games that took away the opportunities of being scouted and signed. These students had a whole plan that was suddenly changed by things that they could not control. I think that the class of 2020 is being challenged by the pandemic, but if they keep working hard they will get through it. Sloat stated that they should focus on what they can control and let go of what they cannot and I think that that is one of the best points within her article. Students are focused on the pandemic and stressing about their future, when they could just focus on the actions that could lead them to their future goals that they already had planned out. I think this article can be very helpful for the people graduating and those that read it should pass it around to help them stay motivated.

  21. Certainly, it is a tough time for seniors graduating this year, whether that be from
    high school or college. I have seen how difficult it has been for seniors as they have worked so hard for the past four years, yet for many the sense of accomplishment that usually accompanies graduating has been replaced with worry and dread . Many of my friends were deeply saddened as they expected to celebrate their graduation with family from overseas. It is also devastating for graduating college students who were unable to get a job due to the current circumstances, or take jobs that they are unhappy with for the sake of financial security. However, in light of this time, there have been many companies who have been offering internships and job positions remotely, understating the realities of our current world.

    I also like that this article mentioned how grieving is an important part of this process in order to maintain your mental health. I do miss going to campus, seeing familiar faces, and doing activities that do not have the same feel virtually. A positive aspect from this situation is that it has given space for self reflection. For me personally, I have realized some aspects that I have taken for granted. Simply seeing your friends, going to the mall with them, having a workout buddy, are some things that I miss and did not fully appreciate it when I was in the moment. It also makes me grateful for essential workers who are going out in the public. Because of these workers, we are able to function with somewhat normalcy, such as grocery shopping. Similar to health care workers, these individuals are putting there life on the line, while often worrying about the safety of their own family. The important thing is to take our current situation step by step, and know that things will eventually improve, this is all part of the process.

  22. Earlier this May it was hard to see all my not walking across the stage and receiving their diploma. Being on a sports team in college you get to experience all class levels, from freshmen trying to fit in and seniors that run the team. It was great to be able to become friends with the seniors and see them grow in their last year at college. Due to the covid-19 pandemic my best friends cant have a true graduation and its very sad to see. All the excitement from graduating is taken away from them and they say it feels like the last four years has come to nothing. All the dreams about sharing an amazing experience with all your senior friends have been canceled and so have jobs. Most kids graduating have a job lined up so they can go straight into the “real world” but with all businesses closed it is very hard to find jobs now. It is pushing back the time to make money and pay off student loans.

    This article states the process to focus on the future and have time to look back at all the great memories you have made over the years. The autor Amanda Sloat starts off the process with grief and understanding life’s unpredictability. I believe these go hand in hand because when you are grieving you start thinking deep into whatever it is and trying to understand something like not graduating due to a virus is hard, but its life. Practicing empathy and first jobs are not forever is a moving up stage you are starting to try and find a better route to follow when moving forward. Be creative and focus on the future are the last to tips and you have to find a way to make things happen during this quarantine it has been hard to follow through with commitments because you feel trapped but the class of 2020 and others have to find the best in theses hard times and following these steps can fill the emptiness inside you.

  23. Graduating college is such a huge achievement to anyone. Going through 4 hard years of college is very tough but it is worth it when thinking about reaching a goal at the end. College students always think about their senior year and their last semester of college because they get excited about their graduation and the idea of moving to a new stage in their lives. Nowadays, during the Covid-19 Pandemic, the feeling of excitement towards graduating has changed to a nightmare for most of the college seniors. Hess says in the Make it article, “the likelihood that graduation ceremonies will be canceled strikes a harsh chord for students who have spent their lives working toward their college degrees.” The 2020 graduates are the ones who have missed a lot during their last semester of college. They missed their graduation ceremonies, last couple days of their classes as seniors and much more. Also, graduation for families is a very big thing, parents wait their whole lives for the day that their child graduate from college. They celebrate the success of their child. They wait for the day they see their child walking across the stage to take their diploma. Unfortunately, many parents didn’t get to celebrate that with their children. Moving graduation ceremonies to be virtual are just not enough for students and their parent to celebrate such a great accomplishment.
    There are many seniors who have graduated without having a plan for their future upon graduation. They graduated without landing on a job, however, they’re still looking for full time- jobs. A lot of college graduates are stressed about finding a full -time job as the economy is in a downfall, they think that it would be very difficult for them to find a job as many companies have shut down due to the Coronavirus. Fierberg, the Stanford senior, says in Make it article, “the situation has been stressful both for students who do and don’t have job offers for after graduation.” A lot of graduates had plans for after graduation such as moving away or having a long vacation, unfortunately, everything didn’t go as they planned as the Coronavirus hit, they entire world. The future of these college graduates is unpredicted. In the Time article, Alter says, “the class of 2020 came of age at a time of fear and uncertainty.”
    Moving forward with reality could be a great thing nowadays due the uncertainty that happened as a result of the Coronavirus. Instead of focusing on the past and the unknown future that students can’t control, they can focus on what they can control so they won’t waste their time being stressed.
    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/02/how-the-class-of-2020-became-the-class-of-covid-19.html
    https://time.com/5839765/college-graduation-2020/

  24. Life is unpredictable! Imagine a student who has worked so hard to ensure that they get a reward and end up not getting anything. This is a high level of disappointment because what was longed for did not come to fruition. The expectancy of life is a lesson we all have to accept. The pandemic that is going is just a portion of what life can present. This is a lesson learned for us all because in life there are ups and downs. Graduation is a great thing and every student wishes to experience it. Regardless of your academic level, graduation serves as a self-achievement. COVID-19 affected us in so many ways. The grieve is shown on everyone’s face most especially the graduates. There were so many preparations in the making for celebration, employment, vacation etc…. The question is what next? How can people recover from this because this damage has been done? Such a life experience can not be repeated. These students should be grateful for life regardless of the loss of this life experience because others lost their lives to the COVID 19 struggle. The common saying goes “once there is life there is hope”. From this pandemic, everyone should understand that life is not certain. Anything can happen at any time, the question will we be all ready to face reality. The case of things getting better should be our way of brainstorming. We can not expect others to make things better, we ourselves will have to take the initiative to ensure things come to normalcy.

  25. During the current coronavirus pandemic a lot of the norms people do everyday has completely changed forever. The changes cause people not to be close to each other most of them include social events, graduations and celebrations. The biggest change during the coronavirus was not having the ability to celebrate as we used too. This drastic change will have a lasting effect on these college graduates by celebrating in a much different way. The steps people take to get over the dramatic events from the coronavirus. The first step in this is to recognize the lost event and to understand that this is a normal feeling. The second step is realizing that people’s likes are very unpredictable and events like this could occur later in life. This is the reason to be prepared about crazy things from occurring and realize the way you deal will be the best way to handle it. The third step is to practice empathy and realize a lot of people in the world are experiencing much more traumatic events. The fourth step is realizing that jobs are not forever and the first job you have is not a make or break in life.
    I believe overly that people need to realize we are all going through this together and many people are facing the same situation or much worse. This is why people need to realize they are doing the best they can and to not be stressed about these things they can’t change. The COVID-19 endemic should give people the free time to do things they never got a chance to do and better themself.

  26. This is a huge blow to the class of 2020. Not being able to have their graduation at school, like they have dreamed of will be saddening. This does not dictate anything. Students believe that they need a graduation from school to show they have completed their years at college, this does not matter. The only thing that matters is the piece of paper that states what degree you have received. Having an online graduation seems like the most logical thing to do, the issue is that people see it as more of a joke than a real graduation. People will not be able to see their friends for one last time before they depart from school. Graduates will not be able to receive their physical diploma in that moment or walk across the stage. This is one memory that every college student dreamt since they were young. Students walking across the stage show and feel for a brief moment that they have done what some have dreamed of achieving. Parents who have never gone to college do not get to see their son or daughter walk across the stage and take pictures to remember their ceremony. The graduation is a sign of the end of a chapter of their life and now moving on to the next one. Not having a graduation is heartbreaking. I personally wanted to go to my friends graduation, see them cross the stage and cheer for them as loud as I could. The pandemic has changed all of those plans. I will not be able to see some of my friends who graduate ever again because of how far we live from each other. From a different perspective people will see this as not a big deal because they do not like big events such as this. Some people dread to wait a whole day just to hear their name be called and receive a piece of paper. Some believe that there is no significance of the graduation because it is just more money to spend and to look good for a few steps across the stage, rather spend the day at the beach or doing something with their friends and family. There are two types of people who look at graduating, in person or online. Depending on how the person feels about graduations in general will influence how this affects them.

  27. Graduation ceremonies are a big deal for a lot of people, as you want to be able to celebrate your accomplishments after working hard towards something for years. Graduation ceremonies are a big day that people always look forward to, as it is not only a celebration of all that you have accomplished, but also the closing of one chapter and the opening of another chapter of your life. Because of the coronavirus, a lot of people are not going to be able to have the proper graduation ceremony that they had dreamed of because of the ban of groups of people being able to meet. For a lot of people, this gives an unsatisfying ending to this part of their life and like might not give them the proper closure, which is a shame that the circumstances have put them in a situation where they don’t get to experience something that others have and will. For myself, I have had the opportunity to have two different graduation ceremonies already and as a junior will have another after graduating in the class of 2021. My first one was for high school which most people have already gotten to experience and after going to school there for four years and changing a lot during that time, having a celebration to see the ending of that part of my life made it a lot easier to be ready to move onto that next part. My second ceremony was for finishing my associate degree at my community college, which gave me a good start to a college experience and led me to where I am today. The ceremonies themselves were both nice but having the proper closure and moment to move on was the biggest thing that I personally felt that I got out of them and I think that is something that is going to be missing for people who have their ceremonies done online as a result of these times. My school, Rider University, is instead moving their graduation ceremony to during the fall semester, which although not ideal gives the opportunity to people who want to have their ceremony in person to still have that experience. I know that it might not be feasible for all schools to follow in this path, but I think that it is a great idea to give their students that experience and I hope that other schools do something similar as well.
    https://www.rider.edu/news/2020/04/27/rider-announces-plans-rescheduled-commencement-ceremonies#:~:text=Rider%20announces%20plans%20for%20rescheduled%20Commencement%20ceremonies,-Ceremony%20planned%20for&text=Recognizing%20the%20symbolic%20power%20of,ceremonies%20for%20November%20and%20December.

    The article talks about the next step for these graduates though, which is important for graduates to accept the circumstances that they can’t control and try to do what they can to be move forward with the next steps in their lives. Finding a job might be difficult during these times but thinking outside the box and taking opportunities you might not normally can lead to things that might have never been expected. With everything being uncertain these days, it’s important to be able to still think ahead about the future and have options on how to prepare yourself the best you can to approach the future.

  28. For graduating students, graduation day is one of the most anticipated days of their lives. I feel bad for the graduating students of 2020, as they are missing out on all the excitement and the experience that others before them have. During my graduation, we had all a big parade and the ceremony took place on a big open field where there are a lot of audiences besides parents and guardians. This article was interesting in how the author gave suggestions on how people should react to losing out on one of the biggest days in our young lives. The author also made her steps look like guidelines for people to follow. Though this article is aimed at those who are leaving college in the very near future, there were also some major takeaways that I think apply to someone at any stage of life. Her first advice is on grieving. Grieve particularly important to let kids know that it is okay to feel upset when something like this is taken from them. This also lets students know to predict the unexpected. Everyone is missing something in their life and they want to experience it again. This article is saying that it is important to recognize this loss and move on. Another great advice that she gave is to be creative. There are many ways to do business or to take classes. In this pandemic period, we have to adapt and find new ways to communicate with classmates and also take classes.

    Resource:

    Sloat, Amanda. You’re graduating in a pandemic: What’s next? April 23, 2020. https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/youre-graduating-in-a-pandemic-whats-next/

  29. Although we have all been doing our best to maintain our lives throughout the coronavirus pandemic, some have lost more than others. One of the most obvious examples is presented in Amanda Sloat’s article: “You’re graduating in a pandemic: What’s next?” In her article, Sloat gives advice to students who have been losing out on many experiences and opportunities because of the pandemic. I wish I had read her article and heeded her advice months ago as I struggled with many of the topics that she talks about when I graduated in 2020 from my community college.

    I never realized how many opportunities that the coronavirus took away from me until recently when I began to feel its impact. I never gave myself the time to acknowledge the losses that I was enduring and work to figure them out. At the time, I did not care about having a graduation ceremony or attending events that were created to reward students like me for their hard work or success. I did not fully realize that my college lacrosse career was over before it had even started or that I would miss out on any internship opportunities I could have had in the upcoming summer. Instead, I reveled in being able to roll out of bed, join a Zoom call, mute my microphone, turn off my camera, and head back to sleep. I enjoyed not having to wake up for 6 AM practices every day or having to commute a half hour to the college every day.

    Now, however, I have begun to grieve the things that the coronavirus has taken away from me. Despite being the first piece of advice that Sloat gives in her article, it is the last for me to try and complete. Although my graduation with an Associate’s Degree is an accomplishment, I envision how much worse it would feel to lose my high school graduation or even my future undergraduate graduation ceremony. While I have missed out on a college lacrosse season and some award events, other people are losing their jobs, homes, and other things that they have spent their entire lives working to obtain. Furthermore, underprivileged communities who had already struggled to put food on the table have even more hardships to endure. Though I need to continue to grieve my losses from the coronavirus, another piece of advice from Sloat has been helping me to put it all into perspective.

    By practicing empathy I have been able to understand how lucky I am. I am safe and healthy amidst a global pandemic while others are losing their lives or livelihoods. A small part of my life has been taken away from me, but I have been allowed to explore new and exciting chapters of my life. By transferring to and beginning to take classes at Seton Hall, many of the opportunities I had lost are becoming available again. The coronavirus is just another one of life’s unpredictable obstacles that we will all have to overcome.

  30. This article in particular is very relatable to me and my family as my brother graduated from the University of Vermont last Spring, so I was able to see first hand how difficult of a situation this truly is. Not only are the students losing one of the most memorable and significant ceremonies of their lives, but they were pulled away from friends and teachers on campus in the semester where they should have been celebrating and recollecting. While also everyone has been negatively affected by the pandemic in different ways, the Seniors in college are some who lost something like a loved one that they cannot take back. While the loss of these end-of-journey events is difficult, the scariest part for my brother and the seniors across the country is the unknown that lies ahead. Many lost internship and job opportunities due to the economic set backs of the pandemic, and job market is as scarce and terrifying as ever. They were stripped of their final months of college and thrown into a world full of question marks for everyone. For our family, the method of getting through this was to think positive and stay focused. Keep a clear grasp on your goals and while staying safe and cautious try and continue a normal lifestyle. No matter how long it may take, this pandemic will eventually pass and the best everyone, but especially the recent graduates; can do is stay prepared for that day.

  31. This time, as catastrophic as it has been, has also shown how lucky and privileged I truly am. While I was complaining about not being able to go to campus and see my friends or complaining about how some of us are not allowed to have an in-person graduation or prom, people around the world are dying. While I have a brand-new laptop as well as a monitor to ensure I am able to complete my work, some children are struggling ways to even find ways to still attend classes. Although my life has been slightly affected and definitely not going as I once had envisioned, the losses I have suffered are little to none compared to the millions of people who have lost their jobs and are struggling to provide for their families. As Sloat says, it is important to practice empathy to realize how lucky I am.
    At the beginning of the pandemic and even at the beginning of this semester, I did not think I would dislike staying home as much as I have been. I let myself be happy with the fact that I was able to be close to my friends and family again, as well as continue to work when many people did not have the option to. Although it may not be the type of creative Sloat was talking about, but I was able to renovate my attic into an office space to give myself more room throughout the semester. Although the Wi-Fi Is not the greatest, I have nothing to complain about. I tried to follow her father’s suggestions on placing very few conditions on my happiness and focus on all the things that I was excited about. However, now that I have been away from campus for six months I am longing to get back to campus and experience it again.
    Although many things are not available right now, many things have become available online. For example, I know multiple people who are doing internships through zoom. Although it might not be the preferred way of having a first job experience, making the best of your situation is all you could be doing. If you are not able to find a job, like millions of other people and are not too busy with school, there are many other things that you could be doing to make an impact on the world. Volunteering, donating to good causes if possible as well as making sure to vote are all things people could and should be doing, if possible.
    It is easy to fall into a state of self-pity, and although grieving is necessary and important, according to Sloat, it is also easy to look around at the state of the world and realize how lucky you are. Noticing things you are thankful for is a good way to distract yourself from all that is going on. Stay positive and stay motivated and wear a mask and we will make it through.

  32. My peers have been upset at our unique freshmen experience, but I think our experience pales in comparison to recent university graduates. High school graduates have the luxury of riding out the pandemic in class. I can’t think of a better place to ride out the recession than a university campus (so long as you aren’t taking on massive amounts of debt to do so). By the time we are out of school, things should theoretically be getting back together, and we can have another ten years of prosperity before the next inevitable economic crash. I can sympathize with graduates who feel the rug pulled from underneath them. COVID canceled an internship I had put months of effort into earning. Scale that to years of networking, classes, and making a degree only to be left in a horrible job market when just months ago they had the job of their dreams lined up, that tough. Really Tough. So tough that not everyone will be able to handle it, and many people will suffer an existential crisis in the process. But I am a firm believer that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and going through this could thicken the skin of an otherwise sensitive generation. It is going to force kids to be creative, stand out, and rise to the occasion or risk getting left behind. As the article mentions, this is a powerful lesson in the unpredictability of life and the intangibility of the things we overvalue. Forged in the crucible of this pandemic, kids will experience life-changing struggles. And if there is a silver lining to this all, it will make for some exciting, determined, and optimistic people. That doesn’t mean we should forget those left behind, everybody has a place in this world that will make them happy and is productive for society, and everybody is capable of finding their spot in the world. The pandemic might be crushing dreams a little sooner than expected.

  33. Still to this day, months later, I am extremely heartbroken for the individuals who did not get to experience a normal graduation ceremony, if one at all. Whether they are graduating kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, high school, or college, graduation is a very special ceremony to showcase your achievements no matter how old you are, and to miss out on that experience is very unfortunate. Graduation is the day when you know all of your hard work and dedication finally paid off.

    My brother was a high school senior this past year, and seeing how this negatively affected him broke my heart. He missed out on all of his “lasts” as a senior. Now starting college as a freshman from his childhood bedroom, he is lost. It’s giving him a bad college experience from not having face-to-face interaction with his professors and classmates, not being able to get involved in clubs and organizations, and not being able to make life-long friends. This was never how he pictured college to be, as it is supposed to be the best four years of your life.

    There will always be obstacles and roadblocks in life that you have to overcome. Life is extremely unpredictable, but this is something no one would have ever imagined happening. These poor students were just expected to grieve and move on.

    High school and college students, in particular, were heavily affected by the new journey they were about to embark on. High school graduates started off the beginning of their college careers abnormally. They were unable to get the full college experience from sitting at home in front of their computer screen. As for college graduates, they were actively seeking a job, from their childhood bedroom, as many companies and organizations were not hiring due to the Coronavirus situation, making it extremely difficult to secure a job for after graduation. The article states that first jobs aren’t forever and although that is true, most students were even unable to secure a first job.

    The article does make a very good point though: you need to focus on the present. You cannot sit and dwell on the past, as that will not get you anywhere. It is understandable how much this situation is unfortunate for everyone, especially the graduates, but there is always brightness at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, you cannot go back and change the past, so you just have to let go of what you cannot change, and instead, focus on what you can control.

  34. Being a student in the time of Covid-19 is a unique experience. Last semester, I saw graduating seniors being sent off from school in a quiet ant-climactic manner. Graduation is supposed to be a big accomplishment after 4 years of hard work. However, looking at those who did graduate made me grateful to be an underclassman. The great feeling that comes with your last semester of college or your last year of high school is a special one. You will never get another chance to do any of the fun things associated with your senior year ever again. In a way, it is kind of sad to think about. It is supposed to be a time for celebration, not quarantine.

    That’s not to say that millions of other students did not have their years affected. Freshman that were eager to start a new chapter of their lives are now stuck at home for another year while their school takes the necessary steps to ensure the virus does not spread. A college freshman’s experience is extremely important to the rest of their years in college. While I was a freshman, I was spending my time on campus exploring different clubs and organizations. When I wasn’t doing that, I was studying in the library, which turned out to be a frequent location for studying. The option to get involved virtually is great, but you cannot say it is the same. Students that were hoping to get the college experience now have to postpone those plans.

    As for the graduating seniors, your last semester experience is not the only thing that you have to worry about. Because of the economic impact of Covid-19, many students who had jobs lined up after college now have to search for new ones. I myself could not participate in my internship over the summer because of this. Luckily, some companies are giving their offers back now that the situation is somewhat more stable. Those who had the opportunity to work remotely are still adjusting to working away from the office.

    Some graduating seniors are still awaiting their celebration once the pandemic is over. Some postpones ceremonies were set to take place this December, but the situation will tell if that is possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *