I took the time to interview a good friend of mine from Hunter College. She and I met in a Political Science class and have become very close ever since. I was very eager to hear her take on what graduating during COVID has been like. Her name is Raquel, and she also happens to be a Community Rep with me.
1. Where did you/are you graduating from?
2. What has it been like spending your last semester under quarantine amidst the coronavirus pandemic?
Honestly, it wasn't fun. My classes were pretty easy before, but once the pandemic came along my professors started to ease up a bit on us as well. I didn't enjoy having to do my school work surrounded by my family either, sharing the family's laptop was a bit of a burden. I especially missed seeing my friends.
3. Of all the things you missed out on because of quarantine, what has been the hardest to accept?
Not getting to spend the final few months of college with my friends, a lot of them don't live in NYC and went back home. I didn't get to have any proper goodbyes.
4. What has been a silver lining?
I think I've learned what makes life worth living for. I now appreciate social interactions and connecting with people face to face so much more. I have grown to learn that it's the simple things in life that bring us the most enjoyment, I'll never complain about having errands to do again.
5. What have you done to make up for some of the graduation traditions you aren't able to do?
I held a drive-by graduation (which you attended). It was cute, I set up a bunch of streamers and balloons and made Hunter cupcakes. If graduation hadn't been cancelled I probably would've celebrated at a restaurant with my family instead, so it was nice having something where lots of people came.
6. What are your next steps, and have they been impacted by coronavirus?
Graduate school. I'm staying at Hunter, which was always the plan. Finding a job on the other hand... that's been impacted.
7. What is the worst thing someone can say to a Class of 2020 graduate?
"It's just a graduation/It's not a big deal." If you're not a senior you have no say on how we should feel. School is hard, it takes a lot of effort to survive it (both emotionally speaking and receiving a diploma). It also is expensive as hell, so being upset on not having a day dedicated to your accomplishments is valid. That's excluding the amount of memories we missed out on making too.
8. What is one piece of advice you would love to give to the class of 2021?
Make every moment count. Don't complain. Take a million pictures and videos.
9. What about the last few months do you think you'll remember most?
The feeling of wanting to go back to normal and feel more productive. I'll make sure to ingrain them to the point where I'll never complain on wanting a day off again.
10. Have you enjoyed college? Is there anything you'd go back and change?
I absolutely loved college. I'd only change my first semester, I'd want to go back to make sure I worked a bit harder on my grades then. I'd probably take more pictures too.