Dear Class of 2021,
Well, we made it. Graduation is finally around the corner. We’ve survived our entire senior year in a pandemic. Some of us have this “new normal” figured out – between planning our last two semesters and prepping for graduation, we are ready to take on whatever life will throw at us in a COVID-19 defined workforce.
But for the rest of us who are still processing March 2020, what do we do now?
It’s easy to say that it’s been a whirlwind. For me personally, my senior capstone class has been focused on planning for a career, and the whole time I’ve been thinking, “A career? I can barely keep a job right now, because I don’t know when things may take another turn for the worst and push my job into temporary obsoletion again.”
I’m sure there are plenty of others who are facing the same perils. We’re all past the point of total chaos and confusion that the entire world found itself thrust into a year ago, but we’re not quite at the point of certainty yet and that’s the challenge here. To be honest, I’m not sure if we will ever reach the point of certainty again.
Here’s what we know: we are going to get those degrees and move on to the next stage. For some of us, that stage is graduate or professional school; for others, it’s straight to work.
Here’s what we don’t know: if there will even be jobs in three months for us to get. That’s the “fun” of a pandemic – absolutely nothing is guaranteed.
But that’s also the biggest lesson we as soon-to-be college graduates can take away from spending senior year quarantining, social distancing and masking up: nothing is guaranteed.
We don’t know what will still be open or accessible from one day to the next, so we have begun to make the most of what we do have.
We are prioritizing self-care and making time to reach out to loved ones. We are embracing the arts more in the forms of movies, books, television and music to distract and entertain us. We are engaging more with our classmates and professors, because we don’t know if we will still have the luxury to do so next week. We are living life now with virtual class sessions and social gatherings than we ever did before coronavirus. That is the beauty in the chaos.
To the class of 2021, we are fighters. We have persevered the worst and came out the other side victorious. We are educated and ready to take on the world.
To the class of 2021, keep on fighting. Keep pushing the limits of what we thought we could do and go further than anyone in your field has gone before. Keep practicing safety measures and caring for yourself and your loved ones. But, most importantly, keep living and thriving.