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 , , , .


  1. Throughout this article, the emotions and hardships from the Covid-19 pandemic and specifically its effects on graduating students are discussed. In addition to realizing the problems and relatable concepts to many young adults who are graduating both high school and college, the article offers numerous remedies that said students can rely on to cope through these distinguished and seemingly disruptive times. I personally relate and can vouch for the effects of the concepts discussed in this article. Additionally, the remedies discussed such as focusing on the present and gradually move towards the future, while not so much focusing on the hardships endured throughout the pandemic.
    Throughout my senior year of high school, I truly didn’t realize just how much the pandemic affected me overall. However, when reflecting back, I truly believe that the pandemic has and will always have effects on my life. Whether good or bad, I feel as if the first step into truly recovering from these circumstances is realization of them. The next would to address them in ways that will help me and others around me. Now, I feel as if we’ve pretty much came out of the pandemic as we knew it to be. However, the hardest part of the pandemic for me was graduation and school in general. Despite “lucking out” with timing and graduating later into the pandemic, rather than the early stages, I still felt the repercussions greatly when it came time to graduate. For example, at my high school, there is a tradition that the graduating class takes a photo at this specific spot near out campus location. Well, our class did this and was eventually punished for gathering without masks as we did. This was just the start of the many unforeseen harmful effects on our senior year.
    To conclude, while the pandemic and its effects put an overall damper and restraint on my ability to graduate, I feel as if pressure does form a diamond in this instance. Life is not easy, and I was truly introduced to this at an early age. However, nothing introduced me to this concept as well as the pandemic did. For that reason, while many of the effects of Covid-19 can be seen as harmful, they can also benefit an individual if viewed from a different perspective

  2. This article especially hit home because it discusses the rollercoaster of emotions faced when dealing with graduating high school and at a college level during one of the most odd times our world has faced. As a student who graduated high school with essentially almost 2 full years of virtual school, I am happy to say that I have made it out. Sure it was fine being at home for 2 years and not getting much work, but I did not realistically try to rationalize what it would do to me in the coming future at the time. I would say that during my time as a senior at Bridgewater Raritan Regional High School, I did not understand how much life had changed, and how much the pandemic had changed me both physically and mentally. Just like school, the pandemic taught me a number of valuable lessons that I will hold on to for even my children to obtain from myself. It started to hit me towards the end of my junior year that I would find myself in the same spot and eventually graduating in what seemed to be a never-ending pandemic. The pandemic turned school into a much less enjoyable experience, classes were empty, kickballs weren’t being kicked, and took a toll mentally on me as graduation slowly came closer to being a reality.
    Come graduation time, my school had always hosted graduation at the football field where the parents would watch from the bleachers. Due to COVID, we were forced to wear masks, and stay 6 feet apart like the entire world did. Graduation was (and to not sugarcoat it at all) depressing, and although that may be a strong term, it truly was. I felt like I was not even graduating, the feeling still has not even hit me yet while in my sophomore year of college. Graduation during COVID is like a fever dream to me, there was nothing good that came out of it, and nothing changed. The entire ceremony itself felt like just a boring speech about how we pushed through and graduated, but it really did not feel anything like that. The only thing that I got out of graduating was finally being able to turn the page and face the next chapter of my life, and that was college.
    Overall, graduating during a global pandemic was not something neither I or the millions of other students in the class of 2021 would have ever expected. I may not have graduated right at the start (which would have been worse than when I actually did), but it still had an impact on how I viewed the school. A prime example was not letting me see my friends even at lunch time, because we were assigned desks to sit at in the cafeteria that were 6 feet apart. With the schools attempt to try and combat the COVID 19 virus, they still had made it an experience I will never forget. While I understand the limited access we had and the overwhelming amount of rules to be followed, I will never look at high school the same way ever again.

  3. I was a senior in high school when the COVID-19 pandemic forced students to begin learning virtually from home instead of learning in the classroom. COVID-19 had a major impact, not only on myself, but as well as all students in both high school as well college. Attending classes virtually was both a difficult and depressing experience for most students due to losing many aspects of human interaction and not being able to hang out with friends after school. Although I did not struggling with grades during this period of time, I struggle mentally and emotionally as I was constantly bored and not focused while attending classes as well as other activities. After the school year ended, when I am supposed to be enjoying my last summer before starting college, my grandfather passed away from old age. Although he didn’t pass away from COVID-19, it was still obviously a low point in my high school graduation. Including myself, many students who were either graduating from high school or college did not get the full graduation experience with having your whole family come see you walk, going to graduation parties, and much more.

    This article shines some light on what students went through during this time as well as the feelings and concerns most students were having about life during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as after the pandemic ends. One of the largest concerns among graduating students was life after graduation, such as trying to find work or starting the next chapter of their life in college. This is still somewhat of a concern today as the pandemic is still not completely over and it has affected life in long lasting ways. People are still struggling to find jobs and start their careers after graduation and this is hurting the country at high levels.

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