Opinion: Graduating during a pandemic

College Graduation. It’s an immense accomplishment and absolute privilege – one I personally don’t take lightly. Graduations are always included in the basket of memories you know you’ll remember even before they happen. 

If you’re about to graduate in December, like me, then you have already accomplished so much up to this point. Congratulations on your great achievement.

You learned to walk, go to the bathroom on your own, tie your shoes, spell your name, completed your multiplication tables, completed junior high and somehow made it through high school and decided, “You know what? Let’s keep going.” 

Just getting to college is a big deal. Graduating is a whole other huge accomplishment. Be proud of that. I know I am. 

If you’re like me, it’s sometimes hard to focus on the positive side of things and be excited for what’s next with the state of the world we are in right now and the brunt force of life we are about to subject ourselves to. Postgraduation is unnerving enough, but to add on a global pandemic – one that doesn’t seem to be letting up any time soon – that has also created one of the worst economic climates this country has ever witnessed, well, that sucks. 

I think it’s all right to feel like our situation sucks. We have plenty of justifiable reasons. Why couldn’t we just get a normal end to our great achievement? 

Throughout this semester I have asked myself, “What is normal?” 

You know what? This is my normal. No matter how much graduating without a rising global pandemic and a spiraling economy would be appreciated, this is the hand I was dealt. 

I can’t change that fact. If I could, I would, but I can’t. None of us can. It won’t be easy, it’s going to be hard. Although, nothing easy is worth doing – it’s a cliche for a reason. 

I am lucky enough that through this whole crazy year, I have had little to no complications. I’m extremely grateful for that, and I know how lucky I am.

If you are one of those people going through it all right now, know that you’re not forgotten. 

There’s a lot of talk about generational superiority because of how hard older generations had it. We definitely earned ours.

Also, think of how nice it will be when you’re older to argue with the younger generations about how easy they have it compared to when you graduated. That’s a pretty nice consolation prize. 

The best advice I can think of, if i’m allowed to give any, is that everything will work itself out. If you’re graduating, it’ll be okay. If you’re not graduating, it’ll be okay, too. 

That’s the best we can do, I think. Relish the achievement and do what you can afterward. 

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