Welcome to the Diary of a Quarantined Graduate.
People often mention how they felt after graduating from college. They talk about the many emotions they experienced, drunken stories from the summer after their graduation, and the inherent transition from years and years of schooling into the “real” world. Freshman year of college, I remember I had an Uber driver who described a college graduate from my school who was driving to the airport after graduation. My Uber driver explained how this particular graduate sobbed all the way from her college apartment to the airport. I remember that conversation so vividly as a freshman who was just starting and wondering if I would feel the same way after four years at the same school as the “Sobbing Uber Girl” (yes, she’s famous to me and my friends). I used to tell that story and laugh, but as a member of the Class of 2020, I understand the “Sobbing Uber Girl” more than I ever thought I would.
I think that I speak for any Millennial or Gen Z whose future has been derailed by Queen Corona, by asking the question that still lingers months into quarantine, what am I supposed to do now?
Prior to Coronavirus, many Millennials and Gen Zs had jobs lined up or were in the first year of their first job, or maybe they were even taking a gap year.
Regardless of individual scenarios, no one was prepared for this (not even our government) and as a result, our world is now struggling, and further recent college graduates are struggling in an extremely unique way right now. We are struggling because this is new territory. Therefore, the articles and advice that are present (which is extremely limited) for our demographic has not included open and honest conversations. People are talking about working from home and raising a family in quarantine, but there are little-to-no articles that speak to topics like, "How to Have an Informational Interview on Zoom?"
For a while, I felt pretty alone with my own individual struggles as a quarantined graduate, yet those negative feelings quickly changed when I started having conversations with my peers about this historic moment in time. I think we are all getting past the point of complaining, simply because there are much larger issues present at this time.
I have personally realized that there is actually an opportunity here to come together as a community, which has been created through this mess, and that is through “Quarantined Graduates.” We recent college graduates will forever be connected by our unique stories and struggles, but even further we will be linked by our ability to pivot and by our perseverance.
Everyone graduating college is just doing their best, so why don’t we talk about it?