Graduating College Seniors: The Class of COVID-19
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Graduating College Seniors: The Class of COVID-19

How to accept that you may never get the graduation you deserve

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Graduating College Seniors: The Class of COVID-19

I think the moment we all heard that classes were no longer going to be in person, it felt like a dream come true. For some of us, the only change we went through was saving the 30 minute commute to campus and $7 parking fee every day. But for most students, it was the anxiety and sudden "world turning upside down" scenario where you had 72 hours to pack your whole life up and move back across the country to a home that no longer felt like home. No more parties and late nights with your roommates staying up until 3am talking and laughing. No more basketball games, or cheering on the side lines with pom poms in your hands and your girlfriends by your side. And most of all, no more independence.

Spring break was a transition period where it was official, but it didn't feel real yet. Trips were cancelled and most of us spent the whole break stuck inside the house. And then when zoom meetings officially started, I spent 2 whole weeks waking up 5 minutes before my class and listening in while drifting off to sleep in bed. It was all fun and games until every single day was the same exact day. I missed waking up early to put on makeup and my favorite outfit. I missed stopping at Starbucks before class and showing up 5 minutes late because of it. I never appreciated the little things before they were gone.

And now the big things that I appreciated and waited 21 years of my life for are gone too.

We've gone through a lot of loss in a matter of 3 weeks. At first it felt like a bad dream I was going to wake up from. But now it's cold-hard reality. I know it's not as easy for everyone, and that's okay, but I'm slowly learning to accept the fact that I'll never step foot on campus again, that I may possibly never walk the graduation stage, and that my college life is officially over even though classes aren't over yet.

I have no choice but to accept it. I'm so sorry for anyone who's graduation has been cancelled although us seniors have given our hearts and souls to our universities the past 4 years. I'm sorry we may not get the closure we deserve. I'm sorry for the people who are out being essential and saving lives, or for the people who are suffering the loss of loved ones all while continuing your online classes, where no one knows how badly you're struggling. Life is so unfair to present these struggles to us, but there are amazing, life-changing things to look forward to for the rest of our lives that are going to be so much more important than walking across a stage to be handed an empty diploma holder. This is only the beginning.

In this time of hardship and confusion, don't put off job applications. Don't stop connecting on LinkedIn just because right now it feels like an extended summer vacation that's never going to end. Do that zoom interview. Work hard to market yourself while you have some down time. It's okay to feel defeated and unmotivated in a time like this, but keep working hard so that your future will arrive sooner than you know it. Your real diploma will come, and then you can officially call yourself a college graduate. You can even take pictures with it in a fancy outfit if that gives you a sense of closure that you're looking for. But eventually you'll land a job that will someday lead you to your dream job. You'll travel, fall in love, and make experiences that will be just as memorable as the experiences you had in college.

We're allowed to be confused, angry, to contemplate life, and even to take a break from all the hard work we've put in the past 4 years, but life will go on after all of this. So remember to breathe and be proud of yourself because you're doing the best you can ♡

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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