Graduating During a Pandemic: The Reality

UK Universities

Cat Bell

Graduating During a Pandemic: The Reality

I have just handed in my last piece of coursework for my undergraduate degree in Fashion Management at Robert Gordon University. This should be a time filled with excitement, possibilities and potential. I should be living out my last month of a carefree student lifestyle – spending all day every day with my friends, getting too drunk on a weeknight and planning my future.

Sadly, I’m not.

Like every other final year student, my end of university experience wasn’t a flurry of nights out, course nights out and ‘hand in parties’ with lecturers and students alike. My end of university experience was the click of an upload button at 9pm in my parent’s house, 120 miles from RGU, over in five minutes.

I know it’s silly to say, but with the prospect of no graduation, part of me thinks ‘What’s the point in the past four years?’ ‘Why I have I even bothered?” We’re sold the image of graduation, in our caps and gowns smiling for photos with our family from before we even make the decision to attend university. At the start of final year, we make promises to ourselves that we’ll get through it, it will be worth it for graduation and grad ball. So how are we meant to feel when this all gets taken away? We did everything we were meant to do, we did the work, we met deadlines, we don’t deserve this.

Of course, a cancelled graduation is definitely not the worst thing to happen during this worldwide pandemic. But this is not what we were expecting, and we are allowed to mourn this loss and we are allowed to be worried for our futures.

As much of a challenge that this is for us, I know everyone in this situation will pull through. We will grow and we will adapt and we will achieve everything we are meant to. We are The Class of 2020 and we are also The Class of COVID-19: resilient, determined and ambitious.

Most importantly, we are a community: we will get through this together.

Instagram: @catcbell