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My tips on graduating in a pandemic

By ZahraaK 19 Feb 2021

Who thought they’d experience a pandemic in their lifetime? Not us, that’s for sure. None of us could have foreseen graduating during such a challenging time,so, how are you all coping?

It’s easy to understand why so many graduates still feel unsettled. It’s easy to compare yourself to others who may have found success during the pandemic, but we need to remind ourselves that this isn’t a competition, nor is there any rush.

We are the class of 2020 and have accomplished something remarkable, so remember that and if you can’t, then you need to watch thisIf Beyonce can't remind you what you achieved and what you are capable of then who can? 

To help you navigate graduating in a pandemic, I've put together 6 top tips below:

1. Acknowledge your feelings

We’ve all felt that discomfort, that feeling of grief as we’ve lost our sense of normality, and now on top of that we’ve just graduated.

Whether it be frustration, lack of motivation, excitement, or anxiety, they are all valid. Positive or negative, our emotions fuel us, so don’t let them fuel you into the ground. Try to work through them.

2. Learn for the future

Everyone has that one thing they’ve always wanted to learn but never had the time to do, maybe now is your time. If things aren't taking off as fast as you'd like them to why not start up-skilling for your next job?  There are so many online resources and course out there, just have a quick Google search!

3. Make the most of what your university is offering

UAL offers a lot of free workshops, CV checks and job opportunities to graduates, so don’t feel like your alone in this. There are people at UAL ready to help you! Check out the student careers page on the UAL website. 

4. Keep up-to-date

Stay in touch with the industry you’re working or hoping to work in, because like they say, knowledge is power.

This could mean listening to relevant podcasts, attending online events, or following creative job board accounts. Whichever form you choose to do, stay connected and up-to-date, because it’s important to know what’s going on within your chosen field. Being one step ahead might be the difference between you can another candidate in an interview. 

5. Network

I cannot stress this one enough! You'd be surprised how many people are willing to help recent graduates, so take advantage and reach out. 

Ask a question, find a mentor and make a meaningful connection with someone you admire. You never know who might respond, so what have you got to lose?

6. Congratulate yourself

You graduated, and that is a HUGE achievement, so don’t let the fact that we’re in the midst of a pandemic dampen that. Celebrate, congratulate yourself, and look forward to the future, because it certainly is bright for you!

I hope you enjoyed my tips on graduating during a pandemic. I know it can be easy to look back and wonder what it would be like to graduate in a 'normal year' but we're here now so let's make the most of it.