(Mark Clavin/WOUB)

Class of 2020 Struggles through COVID-19

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A time of celebration, to look back on the hard work put into the goal of getting a college degree and moving onto your future career. This year, COVID-19 has taken that celebration from the class of 2020.

Once other large gatherings like sporting events and in-person classes were postponed or moved to online, commencement ceremonies were next, there was no avoiding it.

Seniors from this graduating class are struggling to move forward during these tough times, it a few different ways. In senior Molly Kennedy’s case, there is one central reason why you come to college, which is to finally walk across the convocation center stage.

“Finding out that graduation was cancelled, I was very upset,” Kennedy said, “I mean finding out that graduation was cancelled, I mean I was down here for four years, that is what I came down here for, that was the last thing to wrap it up (and) to close it out. The last thing I was supposed to do and I can’t even do that.”

When coming to college, joining a student organization can help you find friends and even help your long term career goals as well, and most groups do some kind of event to honor their graduating seniors, but this year, Molly and others can’t get that recognition.

“We had our last and didn’t know it was our last, we didn’t get to say goodbye to our professors, to the underclassmen we were all friends with,” Kennedy said, “Not being

Fall 2019 Commencement at Ohio University
The class of 2020 might not have a graduation ceremony thanks to COVID-19, meaning they might not witness a scene like this from the Fall 2019 Commencement at Ohio University [Courtesy Ohio University]
able to have a senior send off for any organization that I was in is very heartbreaking.”

However, the biggest worry for these senior students might not be in the present, but for their futures after college. The job market has been in a stand still thanks to COVID-19, even showing some cutbacks from organizations, even in the field that senior Paul Roth is trying to find his first full-time job in.

“I will hear people will say like I have applied her or I have a job interview here, but no one is biting, no one is hiring,” Roth said, “There is noting going on I mean they are firing people in the jobs I want to be in.”

Paul knows that eventually there will be opportunities for him, so the only thing he can do his keep putting his name out there so that one day it can stick.

“You know I still want to apply, I still want to put myself out there,” Roth said,”because when this is all over they will need somebody, a lot of places might wanna go younger because we are cheaper.”

With colleges like Ohio State University moving to an online graduation ceremony, Ohio University might follow their path, but they are still holding hope that the class of 2020 can walk across the stage and get their diploma to start their lives in the real-world. In the future, telling everyone where they came from and how Athens will always be a second home to them, but for now, the seniors have to wait and see what their ceremonies fate will be.