Last year, graduates were unable to attend their own graduation ceremony due to the Coronavirus pandemic. However, is there hope for graduates this year?

What happened last year?

graduating in a pandemic
Source: BBC

For last years graduates, they were unable to celebrate in the cap and gown to receive their degree qualification, something they had worked hard at for the last three years or so. Due to the pandemic, they were simply sent their certificate in the post. At the start of their degrees, this was not something they thought would never happen, but then could predict a pandemic affecting every aspect of everyone’s life?

These graduates from last year are still being promised a proper graduation ceremony. However, the question is, when will this happen? For impending graduates this year, there is still some hope they will be able to wear the cap and gown this year.

What do this year’s students think?

graduating in a pandemic
Source: QS Quacquarelli Symonds

For students at Trent, such as Jen Ireland, who studies BSc Psychology and Faith Pring, studying a masters in News Journalism, they give us their insight into what they hope for graduation this year.

Jen says: “It’s a shame that we probably won’t get a proper graduation ceremony this year, but I’m very proud of what we’ve managed to achieve as final year students in a pandemic.

“A graduation ceremony is a perk, but regardless we’ve done so well.”

Faith adds: “Graduation is a tough one because obviously, I want to graduate more than anything and celebrate everything I’ve done in my degree, with my family and course mates, but with Covid, I can’t see it happening the way I’ve always imagined it.”

Students at Nottingham Trent have heard little regarding what is happening with this year’s graduation. Most people have only heard rumours, but when Jen was asked what they think of plans for this year, he remains “hopeful that we’ll find out soon.”

They added: “I think a lot of us just final years just want to know what’s going to happen really.”

Another worry for these graduates is not just whether or not they will be attending a graduation ceremony, but it is stepping into the working world. A world past university.

What about after graduation?

graduating in a pandemic
Source: About Facebook

When asked what they hope to do after university once he graduates, Jen said: “I’ve got a masters offer to study Education at NTU, but I’m also currently looking to apply for jobs in the areas of student engagement and support.

“I’m currently thinking of postponing my masters offer as I’d quite like a break from studying to get some work experience and to be a bit more financially stable.”

After completing her masters this year, Faith talks about her hopes for a world past university. She said: “I’m hoping to get a job in communication of some degree, whether it’s journalism, PR or marketing.”

The coronavirus pandemic has affected employment deeply, with many industries having to make job cuts as they cannot afford to pay their staff. This makes it an even more worrying time for graduates who are looking for jobs past their degree as it will make the dream job they want to go for even more competitive.

Jen gave their thoughts on worries they have after graduating from NTU. They said: “I’m quite worried about finding a job, especially with grad schemes/job roles being so, so competitive.

“I know of people who graduated last year who are still unemployed because Covid has really impacted them.

“So that makes me nervous.

“However, I also know of some people who’ve had doors open for them due to the remote and home working – working for big companies without having to actually move across the country.

“They’ve managed to save up a lot of money by moving back in with their parents.

“So whilst I am worried regarding my own job seeking, I know there’s also a positive side to it.”

On this point of view, Faith added: “. Working will probably never be the same again and I think that’s a really disappointing change, to possibly never experience that side of employment, like going into the office and socialising with co-workers.

“Of course, we don’t know for sure how things will change long-term, but it doesn’t look that things will go back to normal any time soon.”

To all graduates this year, it remains unknown whether they will get to experience their graduation ceremony. However, they remain hopeful not just for their graduation but also for their future. If you’re worrying about your future, here are our top tips.