Graduates: embrace the uncertainty in your next stage of life


Photo Courtesy of Joyce Seay-Knoblauch/University of Illinois

Illinois graduates celebrate during commencement from a previous year.

By Amrita Bhattacharyya, News Editor

So you made it. The big day that you imagined as a child is here! A socially distanced, individual private stage crossing experience. Your maximum of four guests in the audience are beaming back at you, smiling in approval of your accomplishments.
Or maybe not, I mean, it’s kind of hard to tell with the masks on.
After your 15-minute slot for crossing the stage, you and the gang make sure to head back to a place with excellent WiFi to watch the University’s online commencement celebration at noon sharp! The sentimental pre-recorded talks from prominent alumni and staff are heartwarming and inspirational.
Oh wait, that’s probably not what you had in mind for your college graduation.
As the pandemic engulfs its second year and causes disruptions for yet another graduating class, it’s hard to envision this crazy pandemic lifestyle ever ending.
Will you be at your dream job a year from now, sitting at home in a nice blazer and sweatpants, using the emoticon reactions on Zoom?
Will you be doing that little run back home once you realize you forgot to bring your mask with you when heading out?
And what about toilet paper — is that still something we should be hoarding a year from now?
Graduation is a big milestone in any year, but this year, with your final college years disrupted, it feels like so much more. The pervasiveness of the pandemic is impossible to shake off, and who knows what the next year will bring.
But you’re ready. You did the unthinkable and through hard work and dedication, you managed to graduate in the middle of a pandemic that turned people’s lives upside down. Though a mountain to climb, the pandemic brought lessons to your class that no other class experienced.
In this next stage of your life, embrace the uncertainty that you will surely face. Whether it be facing stress about getting that job interview you wanted, or being anxious about not having a well thought out plan, know that you are ready.
Know that you are prepared because you dealt with the uncertainty of a pandemic.
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