Our Intern’s Retrospective on Graduating this Year.
Graduating during a pandemic is not at all how I imagined starting my life as an adult. When I was a student at the University of Central Florida, I spent years fantasizing about how my life would be after graduation. I would travel for a few months before jumpstarting my dream career, making a lot of friends along the way. Instead of what I was daydreaming, I got the exact opposite. I couldn’t even finish my senior year of college in person. As soon as I left campus to go home for Spring Break, I never went back. I never got the chance to say celebrate downtown one last time, take my senior pictures, or say goodbye to my very best friends. Most of all, I never got a chance to wear my cap and gown and walk down that stage to receive my hard-earned diploma. I don’t have photos of me in my graduation gown being hugged by my entire family as my older siblings do. I don’t have conventional graduation memories.
My parents tried to make my at-home graduation something special. I woke up the day of my graduation with my living room decorated and gifts from everyone in my family. It wasn’t what I originally expected, but it is something I’ll never forget. My family did everything they could to make my graduation memorable – and they succeeded.
Moving away from a place you called home for 4 years is hard, but adding in the fact that I couldn’t even say goodbye to my friends was harder. I spent the first few months of quarantine crying, and then feeling guilty for crying because at least I was safe and healthy – it was such a weird situation to be in. I lost my part-time job and ended up staying in quarantine for a while. Truthfully, I lost motivation after graduating from college. I was applying for full-time jobs like crazy but was incredibly unlucky with my search and this ruined my motivation even more. I took a couple of months off from job hunting because it was obvious that the hiring freeze wouldn’t be ending as soon as I had hoped. I noticed so many of my friends applying and getting into master’s programs and certification courses. I wanted that to be me, but it felt impossible because of my lack of motivation and hope for the rest of 2020.
Halfway through summer I was getting bored and spent every day upset. I realized this isn’t what I wanted for myself as I begin my journey to adulthood. I decided to sign up for a certification exam, an exam I was planning right after graduation. This exam would allow for me to have a Certification in Public Relations under my belt. I didn’t want to spend all of 2020 upset and isolated. I needed something to motivate me every day to improve myself. I scheduled this certification exam for October 19th and hopefully, it will land me a job in my field!
While studying for this exam, I have also considered graduate school. Getting my masters will definitely set me apart from other job candidates while also giving me the opportunity to expand my education. I think one day I’ll definitely get my master’s, but unfortunately, times are too tough financially to worry about graduate school loans. Once I am more established financially, that will definitely be my next step.
Aside from studying for the certification exam, I decided to jumpstart one of my dreams. I’ve always wanted to make my very own brand by creating a lifestyle blog. With all of the free time I have, I decided what better time than the present? I spend most of my days researching what it takes to build your own blog and writing out some blogs I hope to post in the nearby future. I’m not sure when the hiring freeze will end, but until I get my foot in the door of my career, this is what I’m doing as a recent graduate in 2020. Hopefully, by the end of this year, I will earn my certificate in Public Relations and have my lifestyle blog up and running!
Shelly Massre, Former Intern
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