Class of 2020: Graduating while Social Distancing

I turned in my last final exam. Our grades came out today at 5:00pm. I excelled. I graduate in 3 days.

The adults in my life know to avoid certain questions…

What are you doing after college?

Any job offers lined up?

Because I keep getting emails that begin with—

Unfortunately, due to the Novel Coronavirus

They try to sympathize…

You worked so hard!

At least you get to eventually walk across the stage!

Think of the high school students who won’t go to college or ever experience a real graduation.

And it always starts with—

Are you excited?

Really, it is a bittersweet experience. I am done! No papers, no academic deadlines, no finding work-life-school balance! I just wish it had all ended differently. I am a child of immigrants, a first-generation American, the youngest in my family and the first to graduate college. I was supposed to be a success story, but now I am worried what life after graduation will bring. I am a naturally optimistic person, but that does not mean I turn a blind eye to what is happening around me. It will be okay, but I just need to take time for myself to grieve right now. To grieve my school’s spring semester traditions, my senior week, my friends who are thousands of miles away but whose belongings are trapped in their dorm rooms, the group projects that we all complain about, office hours with my advisers, meetings with the best research librarian to whom I owe some of the best papers I have ever written!

Alas, I have my health, my memories, and my diploma. I’ll be okay because I can keep moving forward.

All hail to the seniors

The seniors, the seniors

All hail to the seniors

And may they get jobs!

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