Seniors Graduate During A Pandemic


While the Class of 2020’s graduation ceremony has yet to be rescheduled, life plans have not paused for our graduating class. Spring Hill seniors continue their post-undergraduate planning from the safety of their homes, including web-based job interviews, canceled orientation events for those seeking graduate degrees, and uncertainty altogether.

Abby Rhodes, an English major, has been searching for her first full-time job since the spring semester began. “I knew the job hunt would be hard, but the Coronavirus made it even harder,” said Rhodes. “Most jobs want you to submit applications online anyways, but I had to complete job interviews through a webcam. I think it’s difficult for employers to gauge everything they need to know about a future employee through a computer screen.” Through these unexpected difficulties, Rhodes was able to secure a full-time position in Florida. “I’m still not sure what to expect when I move across the state, but I’m relieved I got to lock down a job during a time where unemployment is high.”

For our Education majors, the search for jobs is more uncertain still. Cece Sutton, a Secondary Education and Chemistry major, has plans to teach high school science. “I’ve been looking for open teaching positions since January and they were already kind of sparse for what I’m looking for. My teaching internship was cut short as Mobile County closed schools down for the year, so I wasn’t able to finish my internship experience,” said Sutton. “Really, I’m not sure what the next school year is going to bring.” 

Many seniors are also searching for apartments as they plan to move out of their parents’ homes. While vacant apartments are plentiful in the Mobile area, many buildings have canceled in-person tours. With seniors having to commit to their next homes sight unseen, some say this adds an additional stressor on the post-graduation bustle. Lauren Fischer, an Elementary Education major, was fortunate enough to settle her apartment plans before the pandemic resulted in a mass lockdown. “I was lucky enough to have my living arrangements finalized before graduation, but I know the process would’ve been very different if I couldn’t even tour my apartment before committing to it,” said Fischer. “There are a lot of fees that come with renting an apartment, so paying all of them would’ve been pretty unsettling if I had to base my decision solely on photos of the apartment.” 

As a senior seeking a Master’s degree, I’m facing my own share of struggles. Many seniors are noticing their journey to graduate school is not what they expected. Our orientations have been canceled, those of us moving out-of-state are unable to travel to certain areas during the stay at home orders, and searching for part-time employment to fund our way through college is difficult due to job shortages. 

As President Joe Lee continues to keep seniors updated about their commencement ceremony, post-graduation life has not stopped amid the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic has made an already stressful time more uncertain for most.

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