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Graduation Blues: Thoughts on Graduating Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

Senior year of college presents itself differently for each student who bears a cap. For some, this may mean finally feeling comfortable in their skin, whether it be finding a major they’re passionate about or creating a strong foundation of friends. For others, the year may serve as a compilation of small victories that derail from traditional forms of success, such as learning how to balance a job and school, place instant gratitude on hold for future rewards, and so forth. 

This year had no intention of being met with a worldwide pandemic that would pull the rug out from under our feet in a matter of days. Though the canceling of many significant events has indeed devastated students like me, senior year cut short made me realize the moments of college I am grateful for that might work to compensate for the few final months I am missing.

Alongside many other students, I spent a lot of time throughout my four years contemplating what career path I could envision myself embarking. Having utilized core requirements to test the waters of several different fields, this was a search that I felt like at the moment I’d never find an end. If you’ve similarly struggled here, you’re aware that while finding that right major or concentration, you feel like an absolute mess. And it trickles down into other aspects of your life as well; from being unsure what internships to apply for to going blank when people ask what your major is. While there are worse problems to have, it is a challenge that no one else can solve for you. 

Luckily, I was able to find a major I’m so happy to be a part of and honestly believe I’m aptly suited for it. It encompasses all of my interests — arguably all of the majors I hopped to and from — and regardless if classes are online and far from campus, I still will have taken part in these courses I genuinely want to apply myself in.

This idea spans to other aspects of college careers collectively as well. In thinking back on the best moments from college, I think of both little and big successes, all of which didn’t take place in my final semester of senior year. In thinking back, my best moments that come to mind are visiting my friend abroad, making friends in various classes, visiting my friends at other schools across the city, and getting job-related gigs I was thrilled to be a part of. 

While each student’s experience differs, I would believe this same narrative echoes in the student who spent their junior year abroad or the student who had an excellent research opportunity one summer. Having a few extra months of college, months we thought couldn’t be taken away, would have been filled with many new memories. In the same breath, though, it’s important to realize all you’ve accumulated in riches before falling short of these additional months! 

Hi! I'm Kate, and I'm a junior at New York University majoring in English.
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