• Ani Antoine

Difficulties of Graduating During COVID-19

Updated: Jun 22

I never imagined that I would graduate during an economic decline.


COVID-19 has presented an immense amount of challenges and uncertainties for recent college grads. When we started the spring 2020 semester, no one imagined that just in a few short months many of our plans would be derailed by a pandemic.

Before I graduated from college, I applied to four summer internships/jobs that would allow me to learn new skills while accumulating some extra cash before I start graduate school in the fall. Since COVID-19, all of those positions are canceled and each organization is no longer hiring for the summer. In a quick turn of events, all my plans and backup plans flew out the window. I had prepared months in advance for the summer so I wouldn't have to scramble for a summer job. Instead, I found myself in a position I tried my best to avoid.


I know this has become a gut-wrenching reality for many students across the nation. And for college grads, COVID-19 not only took away our last weeks at university and a graduation ceremony, but it has also created additional uncertainties among career and job placement.


Like many students of color, my work ethic is through the roof! I don't like to sit around and I constantly need something to do. You could say, I got it from my ancestors: people who worked hard despite their circumstances. My family raised me to be a good worker and to always keep busy. I am constantly trying to engage with a project or think creatively about improving lives and community engagement. Call it what you want, but working is in my DNA.


Throughout all the difficulties and challenges, I am choosing to think positively and surround myself with positive people. I am still looking for a remote summer job to make some extra cash, but I think it would also be okay to rest. I have just finished my undergraduate degree, so it might be a good time to enjoy my summer and relax a bit before starting graduate school in the fall.


I am accepting the fact that it's okay to rest! As people of color, it's hard to take breaks, but it's necessary to recharge our batteries to better handle our next milestone!


I think the pandemic has taught me the importance of self-reflection and resiliency. Despite the beginning obstacles of adulthood, I am finding it necessary to keep trying until the blessing comes through! I hope all of you are staying cheerful and positive during this time and are working toward making your dreams a reality. Continue blooming into the amazing individual you are becoming and you are bound to do wonderful things in this life.


Blooming where planted,


Ani.


Hey there reader! 👋👋👋


Are you or someone you know a recent college grad facing the new world of adulthood? How are you managing? How has COVID-19 impacted you? What are you doing this summer to stay busy?


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