First-hand Insight of the Effect of Covid-19 on College Graduates from DRIVEN360’s Huntyr Mina
With graduation ceremonies across the nation cancelled in observance of social distancing guidelines surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, college graduates around the country are left with feelings of disappointment and FOMO as they miss out on some of the catalyst events associated with their last semester of college. Although some schools were able to drum up some excitement through notable celebrity appearances, like Will Ferrell’s “Zoom-bomb” during USC’s virtual graduation, other schools sent 2020 graduates away with an email, a quick note of congratulations and the impending doom of student loan payments kicking in soon.
Like thousands of other graduates, our very own Huntyr Mina experienced a wide range of emotions when she found out her senior year at Northern Arizona University would be cut short and the fun, celebratory events would go unfulfilled. We sat down with Huntyr to ask her how the pandemic has affected her last year of college and journey into the “real world.”
What were you most looking forward to your senior year?
Huntyr: Before the COVID-19 pandemic turned my senior year upside down, I was really excited to have my family come watch me graduate. I am the first in my family to graduate from college so 17 family members from all over the country had plans to attend my grad ceremony and cheer me on as I walked across the stage. It was the event I had been looking forward to since the moment I started college and the one I’m most bummed about missing out on.
How did the pandemic change your expectations for your last semester of college?
Huntyr: At first when COVID-19 hit, I felt that it had cut my college experience short and taken away a lot of things I was looking forward to. However, I took this as an opportunity to quickly gain a better perspective on what I needed to do to begin building my career and get ahead in my professional life. I immediately began looking for jobs and was fortunate to land a job earlier than I would’ve been able to, had the pandemic not happened. Ultimately, this job gave me a head start on building a life for myself.
What was the consensus between your graduating peers about the impact of COVID-19 on graduation?
Huntyr: Most of them are extremely sad. Many seniors had to leave our college town earlier than anticipated, leaving a lot of missed hangouts and memories that weren’t created before college came to an abrupt end. A majority of graduating students I have spoken to also felt that their accomplishments didn’t mean as much without having a physical graduation ceremony or that they felt extremely unprepared for what was to come.
If you could redo your last semester, would you?
Huntyr: Personally, I wouldn’t choose to redo my last semester. The effects that COVID-19 had on my last semester ended up providing me with a lot of opportunities that I don’t think I would have had if the last semester of school continued as it should have. I was nervous about starting my adult life and not knowing what my future held, but I was forced to figure that out fast and I don’t think my everything would’ve turned out the same without the pandemic.
Although Huntyr – and many other graduates – didn’t get the graduation she deserved, our team at DRIVEN360 is so excited to have her join us on our team! We are incredibly proud of you, Huntyr, and look forward to joining you on your journey as you continue to grow and kick ass!