5 Graduates Share How They Are Celebrating Their Achievements During Quarantine

No one would have thought that half of their school year would have ended up like this. How could we have known that some of the best and proudest moments of our lives would be reduced to mere statistics? These are unprecedented times, and we are all slowly trying to figure this out step by step. There have been many unfortunate changes in people’s plans, with proms and graduations made virtual and jobs and internships canceled. However, despite all of the setbacks, we will get through this together and come out stronger than before! 

I decided to ask some of my friends and family who have just graduated this spring to share their thoughts and feelings regarding this issue and how they have been coping and celebrating. This goes to show that not everything is so black and white, and we all need to treat ourselves with kindness during this unusual time.

  1. 1. Ayla Khoshaba

    a girl wearing a black bikini top and sunglasses

    "It’s been difficult for me to celebrate because I’ve been experiencing a lot of loss and grief, not all directly connected to graduation. I’ve been sleeping a lot and trying to make more art. Sometimes I feel guilty about not being super productive, but I’m trying to be kind to myself and practice more self-love by reminding myself that how I’m coping is okay. I will celebrate eventually, but I need time first to heal and grow."

  2. 2. Elona Khoshaba

    girl sitting on a towel, holding a #UCLAbound poster

    "Honestly, everything has been changing so fast, so I’ve learned not to expect anything concrete in the future and just focus on myself in the present moment. Even though it’s disappointing I can’t have a graduation, the health of those around me is more important so I try to keep things in perspective. I've been doing a lot more self care and focusing on hobbies I enjoy like skateboarding and electronics; I've been learning about subjects I find interesting and have never had a chance to explore, which has been fun too. As for celebrating my achievements, as long as I get the recognition from my family, that’s all I really care about."

  3. 3. Kailin Ishaya

    "As a senior in high school during the coronavirus, I’ve had a very weird experience with my final year of high school. I didn’t get to do a lot of the things seniors before me did, and it’s been hard to celebrate my achievements like graduating. Though it’s hard, we’ve tried our best to make this year as good as any senior year through Zoom proms and online graduations, and it’s honestly been a very unique and amazing experience. To cope with all the changes happening in my life, I tend to find myself trying to keep a positive outlook for my future. Nothing will be exactly the same as it was before this pandemic but I’m hopeful that my future will be just as successful as it would have been before the coronavirus."

  4. 4. Kelvin Yeoh

    boy standing in front of neon signs with white hat

    "With my grad school enrollment this fall 2020, I’m definitely feeling less anxious of what I will do after graduation. However, I know a lot of my classmates are worrying about internships and jobs, since many have been canceled. If I didn’t apply for grad school, I would have been in the same position. It still doesn’t feel like I’ll be graduating... so I have not really celebrated anything, except for eating a lot."

  5. 5. Kevin Chang

    boy standing in front of a pool, wearing a blue shirt

    "What has helped me a lot is getting to be home and surrounding myself with my family. Turning to my dad and mom and discussing how to deal with the uncertainty has been immensely helpful. I also try to focus on other activities and hobbies. I enjoy going on walks, reading news articles here and there, watching Netflix (Avatar: The Last Airbender is back!), etc. In regards to celebrations, well… admittedly I treat myself with stuff on Amazon, but I’ve also been sharing the moment with my family, such as celebrating my acceptance into medical school or taking my grad photos."

If you are reading this as a graduate yourself, I just want you to know that you are not alone in what you are feeling and experiencing and that you will still accomplish the great things you set out to do. What is important to remember is that this is all happening for a reason, and that is to keep you and everyone else healthy and safe. Be proud of where you are and all that you have achieved!