I don’t really know how to start this one, other than… the way you are feeling is valid.
It is okay to be upset that we didn’t get to say goodbye to some of our friends properly, it is okay to be upset that we didn’t get to have that last summer ball, or that we didn’t raise our glasses after finishing the last lecture, class, or assembly, it is okay to be upset that graduation is not going to be like any graduations we have seen in the past or idealised in our minds. Our plans have been turned upside down, and just like for everyone else, life seems incredibly uncertain.
Every now and again I see tweets, or instagram posts, written by people who are not in our position, but seem to complain that we shouldn’t be upset that our final year at school or university has been devastated- and those people really piss me off. What is happening in the world is awful, and it is impacting everyone, we are not exempt from what has come about because of this virus.
Plans lost and time passed without being able to properly say goodbye to teachers, lecturers and peers- it is valid that we are not feeling 100%. Worse so that we have now been pushed out into the unknown, with no security of another year in education in September, not really knowing what comes next.
I’d like to urge friends and family to not ask us when graduation is, if those plans are not set in stone, and especially not ask what our plans are for the future- when right now all we need to focus on is the situation at hand. Just like everyone else, we have no control over the situation, and right now I think the last thing we need to be reminded of is that we won’t get to have those special experiences that other people have been able to experience, and if we do they won’t be the same, and they won’t be for a while.
Instead, lets use this time to stop, and remember to appreciate life. As I have said before, there has never been a time like this, there will probably (hopefully) never be a time like this again in our life times, where we have to be at home and around family.
Get creative with how you keep your connections with school and university friends. Perhaps set up FaceTime dates with your friends- I personally have been going on walks with my friends on house party- where we all walk around our respective local parks and just chat nonsense- and it brings us all close together, no matter how far apart we live. I have seen a lot of people, myself included, doing zoom/FaceTime quizzes with friends, and they’re great fun! Although we are not all physically together, I must say technology has been the greatest blessing in enabling us all to keep connected.
Try to stay positive, and only worry about keeping yourself safe and happy in times like this. If people bring up the future, and you don’t want to talk about it- politely shut down the conversation. This is a weird and unprecedented time, things are different to usual, so don’t be afraid to say no to conversations you don’t want to have.
Don’t feel bad if you feel down because this year has not panned out as we hoped. We have all done so well, and come so far. Although things have not panned out as expected, we should still be so proud of ourselves, even more so because we completed our degrees during a pandemic and so deserve to celebrate with friends whenever next possible.
Stay positive, we’ll throw our caps soon no matter what time of the year ❤