It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I’m struggling to feel fine

This pandemic has been hard on everyone. I won’t pretend for a second to be the most affected or the most at risk; I’m young and healthy, my mom kept her job and even though I lost my internship because I had to move home, I got a hefty tax return I’ve been living on and I have money in savings to get me through until something else comes along. I’m undoubtedly one of the lucky ones.

And despite all that, I still spend every day in constant anxiety because I’m not sure how to find a job during the pandemic.

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It’s no secret that businesses are struggling. Already, I’ve gotten numerous emails regarding job applications I’ve sent in which I’m told the companies are instituting a hiring freeze and have no idea when it will be lifted. In every one of them, I’m told something like: “Best of luck to you. I hope something works out.”

Not the most encouraging thing for someone who graduates in a month to hear.

And it’s not just the uncertainty that I’ll be able to find a job during the pandemic. It feels like everything has been taken away from me: my last two months at Auburn, my graduation ceremony, my graduation trip. I won’t even be able to take grad pictures because I can’t get my cap and gown or my honors cords or even feel comfortable being around a stranger until long after I’ve graduated.

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So yeah, I’m one of the lucky ones. But it still sucks. Big time.

I have no idea what the future holds for me when all this is over. If you know anything about me, you know that that’s one of the most terrifying realizations I’ve had to come to in my life; I’ve always been a dreamer, a planner, someone who had big aspirations and has always focused on what’s coming next. It’s terrifying to know that I might not be able to find a job during this pandemic. It feels like everything I’ve worked for, these past four years of working so hard for the promise of a fulfilling career, was all in vein.

I really am trying to stay positive through all this (I know it doesn’t seem like it; you’ll just have to trust me on this one). I know this will pass eventually, that things will return to normal eventually, that I will get hired by someone eventually. It’s just hard not to feel jipped.

I don’t want to make it seem like I think everything is hopeless. I know there are companies that are still hiring, or ones that will resume as soon as they can. I even got a message from LinkedIn the other day with helpful tips on how to find a job during the pandemic. I know all is not lost. I guess I’m just having trouble adjusting to this new normal.

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I suppose it’s just like any grieving process—I’ll have to go through denial, anger, all that before I get to acceptance. I imagine it’ll be a long road. No journey is linear, but I’m foreseeing a lot of twists and turns in this one in particular.

So to any fellow college seniors: I’m right there with you. It really, really sucks. I don’t have any answers. I just have to believe that we’ll get through it somehow; and I’ll see you all on the other side, hopefully at a brewery or a restaurant or anywhere but my house.

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