In the past four years, for the graduating class, what we learned about in history class became reality. We were in Philly to see the tides shift in Washington. We were in Philly to mourn the death of classmates. We were in Philly to celebrate the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory. Now, some of us are in Philly to endure a global pandemic. As we reflect on the major historical events which have served as the backdrop to our education, we may be forgetting that we are now entering the second week of our last semester, and for many of us, that’s a terrifying thought.
With less than four months to graduation, the class of 2021 has a great deal on its mind: grad school applications, career prospects and the uncertainty of the future. As a senior, it’s hard not to be bitter about our situation. It’s natural to think we deserved better as a class — to be able to cap our collegiate careers with late nights in the library and warm spring days on the quad. However, this is not the hand we have been dealt. This editorial is not to say that everything is going to be alright; it’s probably not. Rather, it is to say that, even though everything won’t be alright, we’ll handle it.
In all that we have collectively endured, we have been afforded the opportunity to develop a growth mindset. We can only mourn the loss of our experience for so long before it cripples us. We need to stop asking “Why is this happening to me?” and begin asking “What is this teaching me?” When I reflect on what this experience has taught me, I am called to put myself in the shoes of previous generations of students — students who endured the Vietnam War, 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis. While those events may have afflicted many students, ultimately, they survived (and often with good jobs) and, despite the circumstances, we will survive too.
This editorial is not to say that everything is going to be alright; it’s probably not. Rather, it is to say that, even though everything won’t be alright, we’ll handle it.
The pandemic’s effect on the global economy and job market makes graduation that much more daunting. We can accept that our dream jobs won’t be laying at our doorstep come May, and yet, there’s a certain power in that acceptance. There is power in the ability to accept instability and uncertainty in our lives. With the grit and resilience we have collectively developed, the world, if not now, will one day be our oyster. The spring semester is sure to host a distinct set of challenges, but if there’s one group up for the task, it’s the class of 2021.
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