What It’s Like to Graduate In 2020

Some of you might be in your final year or have returned to college to complete a masters but for me and I imagine most of our members, we finished our last assignment nine months ago. It’s weird to think that it’s been nine months. I actually forget what it’s like to sit in a pub, with a pint in one hand and a slice of pizza in the other, laughing with my group of friends after delivering our last group presentation of the semester. It feels like I dreamt most of those moments and that our current situation is just the way the world has always been, but then I remember….

  1. There is a vaccine.
  2. We are at the last hurdle.
  3. This time next year we will be socialising, eating out and holidaying in a foreign country.

I am writing this article to reflect (rant) on the last nine months as a “Coronavirus Graduate” and hopefully you can relate to some of these things. It’s super tough right now but I like to think that it could be worse. Hopefully you and your families are all healthy and I suppose we can postpone the craic for just a few more months.

  1. Plans Change

I would imagine the biggest let down for all of us has been cancelling our plans. I am sure a lot of you had plans like travelling, a new job, a holiday, etc. Then 2020 happened and cancelled everything. I know how you feel, we’ve been working towards this degree for four years and now no holiday, no travelling, and no job. Honestly, its crap! However, there are positives to several lockdowns in a row such as, learning new hobbies and skills. I see a lot of people learning a new musical instrument, getting fit, or learning how to draw. It’s the perfect time to be curious and find some things you really enjoy. Personally, I have a new hobby every week, I can’t pick just one and they’re so random. This week its astronomy, don’t ask why.

  1. The Job Search

The most annoying part about lockdown, JOB HUNTING! First off, barely anyone is hiring and if they are hiring its generally for more senior positions. Secondly, the competition for these jobs is insane. When I first graduated from college there were hundreds of applicants for each job post. I received an email from three companies stating they had over 1000 applicants for one position, there was no way I could compete with 1000 applicants. I felt a lot of pressure to get a job, especially when people asked me what I was up to, which looking back is quite a strange thing to ask someone that just graduated during lockdown. Fast forward nine months and I’m still looking for a job, but I don’t feel under pressure anymore. Some things are out of your control and I’ve come to the realisation that I’m going to be working and paying taxes for the rest of my life, so I’m just enjoying my time off right now and you should too, work isn’t everything (But if someone is hiring let me know 😊).

  1. Friends

Who doesn’t miss their friends? A lot of you have probably moved home and don’t get to see your friends that much anymore (I can relate, I miss meeting new people too). It is hard for everyone but just imagine the buzz around the place when this whole pandemic ends, people are going to be in such good spirits, and we can go on holidays again. Until then we have our phones, social media, zoom and reading about how other graduates are doing ie. this article, to stay connected with each other. I am genuinely interested about what other graduates are up to and how they are finding the lockdowns. If you want to share with our Grad members how you have coped with the lockdown or what you have been doing for the past nine months, then email me at katiedoherty222@gmail.com.

In conclusion, I think everyone is sick of lockdowns, but just keep thinking about the three things I mentioned at the start of this article and we will get to a point where everyone is vaccinated, free to socialise, and can travel past their 5km radius, until then stay safe, stay sane and stay sexy.