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Advice to Current College Students, From a Class of 2020 College Graduate

by CJ McCartin, Content Manager

empty lecture hall

Everyone knows what the college graduates of 2020 missed out on—their final few months on campus, the chance to say goodbye to friends, teachers, and the place they called home for the past four years, graduation ceremonies, and the chance to enter a healthy and thriving workforce economy, to name a few.

But now that the dust has settled for us, it becomes clearer every day that we aren’t the only ones whose college experiences were profoundly affected by COVID-19. The uncertainty that the classes of 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024 are facing is extremely difficult, stressful, and unsettling.

Current college kids, I’m no psychic, but I think it’s safe to say that college is going to look different now than it has in the past. But different doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Your college years will still hold the same transformative experiences that mine did, probably with more mask-wearing and less desk-sharing.

The worst thing to do in times of uncertainty is compare your present to the past. Trust me, I spent most of April wishing I was born a year earlier so that I graduated with the class of 2019. However, as I sat in my living room on what would have been my graduation day with the small group of people who mattered most to me, I couldn’t help but smile. It wasn’t traditional, it didn’t fit the hype that a graduation supposedly had, but it was the graduation I got. And you know what? It was special, it was meaningful, and it was mine.

Basically, what I’m trying to tell you is this: No matter what your next few weeks, months, or years look like, your experience will be just that—yours—and if you slow down, stay present, surround yourself with people you love, and make the best of it, you’ll be so full of what you have that you’ll forget about what you’re supposedly missing.


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