Graduating Gracefully in 2020: An Oxymoron?

We’re all just doing the best we can.

I’ll be the first to admit that when quarantine struck my area, I was in the boat with the crazies who wanted to stock up apocalyptic-style. By about March 24th, I was already planning my own funeral and ready to take a page out of Bubble Boy’s book. What a BYTG, amirite!? [shameless title drop]

*I’ll never step foot into a lecture again. Move back home so abruptly? But what about my roommates? What will happen to my QVC internship? Can they really shut down a whole campus? I didn’t get to say goodbyes!*

I was eventually able to find great solace in the memes that were circulating during the early days of quarantine. Here’s some personal faves:

But ultimately, no comic relief could turn our lives back to “normal.”

2020 brought some 2012-esque, ancient Maya prophecy vibes. Aside from wanting everyone to stay safe and healthy, I just wanted to graduate…gracefully.

A. It is an oxymoron.

Graduating gracefully in 2020 is impossible! I want a redo!

  • It felt scary, nerve-racking, anxiety-inducing, unfair, impossible, depressing, limiting, defeating, unprecedented! “Unprecedented” could just about sum this portion up.
  • But I had plans – for the rest of the semester, for travel, for work, for so much!
  • The economy was booming a couple days ago! What’s this I hear about 2020 being comparable to the 2008 Recession? A modern-day Great Depression?
  • I’m catapulted into adulthood during a global pandemic.

You call that graceful?

*While A is experiencing valid emotions, her friend B offers her rebuttal.*

B. It is not an oxymoron.

Graduating gracefully in 2020 is possible! I did it, or at least I’m trying to!

Believe it or not, you are still in control.

Uncertainty of the future is unnerving! Let it be.

But also focus on what you can control – how you spend your free time, how you prepare for the future, how you contribute to your happiness, and who you surround yourself with.

Maybe you have been completely thrown off track. Your future feels derailed and nothing is going your way. Or maybe you’ve experienced some setbacks. You’re completely unmotivated to cook yourself a meal, let alone browse LinkedIn’s Job section.

Either way, there’s still productivity to be had.

Some Quarantine Takeaways:

Plan your day

Write out your daily goals and structure your day around a time table.

My daily planner from Urban has helpful sections such as an hourly plan, a space for notes, a to-do list, and my favorite: today’s objective. Be honest with yourself. If your one and only objective for the day is to kick ass, say it proudly!

Work on your physical and mental health

Once you prioritize your well-being, you’ll show up authentically. Assuming you’re authentically a kind person, this will always work in your favor. Unless you suck… then start there.

Make the BEST use of your time

Given what you have at this second, what would your perfect day look like? Ask yourself what you REALLY need at the moment. Is it ice cream? A run? Meditation? A face mask? Netflix? A beach day? Sushi? A long walk? As long as it’s contributing to your short-and-long-term happiness, do it.

Stay curious, even if you’re out of school

Continue to learn via books, podcasts and/or personal research. Capitalize on a skill and find out ways to turn it into something bigger. There’s too much info out there. Start small. And avoid #fakenews.

If you’re not #essential like me, say yes to any new opportunity! You never know who you might meet. That’s how I ultimately found my job.

Forget the stereotypes

We’re paving the way for young peeps trying to figure themselves out. This weird year has broken down the expectations that high school and college should be completed consecutively, without flat tires, potholes or wrong turns.

Now you have no excuse but to just do your thing. Anyone worth your energy should understand.

Imagine…

Oprah’s giving out cars with reckless abandon.

But instead of Oprah, it’s 2020.

And instead of cars, it’s gap years, time off, unemployment checks, online school, delayed graduations, promotion of mental health, a couple bonus months before loan repayment, and global uncertainty.

All of this comes without judgment, because none of us are superhuman, and we’re all just doing the best we can.

Make it a good day!
Haley

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