We asked Cov Uni students what it’s like to be a 2020 graduate

Has corona killed all hope for our future?

We asked Coventry University 2020 graduates how they are are feeling about their futures after the pandemic stopped us all in our tracks. I think it’s safe to say we have worked our way around the FMP/disso hurdle we faced but how are we actually feeling about it all? Many of us are concerned for our futures, and what exactly will be available for us when this is all over. Some of us are just pure livid that our potential best year so far was cut short. Of course, it couldn’t be helped, but it’s just our luck that it happens to fall on our final year.

Rowena Cutting, 21, Fine Art and Illustration Grad

“One of the biggest things I have struggled with is guilt for the pity party I am throwing myself, thinking about how uni ended. I’m so so aware that so many people around the world have it so much worse than I do, and that my struggle is a small struggle in comparison.

But also, shouldn’t I be allowed to grieve the ending of my final year at uni? That’s my big inner conflict. Yes, we will all pull through this eventually, of course we will, but right now being stuck in isolation with life on pause, everything the future could offer seems worlds away.

All I see right now is my graduation being delayed or cancelled and granted it’s been moved online. But the work I produced for my final major project, the moment I have literally been preparing for since choosing to do art as a career has been taken from me. My final major project was a last minute ‘what can I do without access to what I need’ -so yes, I am heartbroken by that.

We will pull through, and we will be fine eventually. But right now I am mourning the end of my education being ripped away from me in a way no one could ever expect”.

Natalie Jones, 20, Sports Therapy Grad

“I’m absolutely gutted that graduation has been cancelled and I would of preferred it to have just been postponed. Although I will be attending the November graduation it won’t be the same. Many of my course mates who live abroad are less likely to attend this and I never got to say goodbye to anyone.

Although my lecturers were very good with online learning and checking up on us. It’s a practical course of which I could no longer practice. My exam completely changed and although it will be good to say I’ve done it, I was very stressed to say the least. The thing that has got to me the most is not being able to say goodbye to people and celebrate finishing uni with the people who got me through it. Uni finished and it was just another day.

I’m nervous about the future as I’m sure for a long time no one is going to feel confident to go and get a sports massage or assessment where I will have to be within two metres. I know it’s messed up a lot of people’s lives but I’m happy that my family and I are well and it’s just something I’ve got to work around”.

Josh Varun, 22, Civil Engineering Grad

“Due to the circumstances, it’s hard to have many optimistic feelings for a graduation ceremony any time soon, to celebrate all the hard work we have put in this year. It’s a weird one. I am so happy that I am done with all my deadlines, but I know the send-off we all deserved is looking less and less likely by the day. This all makes it so hard to look forward to graduating. There was an expectation we all had of those black caps and gowns, but that’s okay, there will be time to celebrate, there will be time to have fun. But as for now, it’s better to be safe.

Thinking about how my third year has been ruined has triggered me. It makes you think about how it could have been, about what we could have got up too, that sucks. It’s genuinely mad to see the effect this one thing has had on everything. Though, it would be silly of me to let it ruin my entire year. It’s so easy to let something like this ruin everything, but it doesn’t have too. The way I see it is that the celebrations are on pause, when this is all over, y’all better free up them schedules.

Obviously the situation has made me feel a bit anxious. I get there is likely to be a recession as we recover economically, with less jobs available. And that’s the facts of it. But, as a kid you always think about it like, first comes primary school, then secondary, then college, then uni, then I’m done. And now that I’m here, I’m so underwhelmed. Despite this, I have a sick degree, with loads of opportunities available, I am excited to move on with it and to see where it takes me”.

Lucy Bullock, 20, Theatre Grad

“In terms of graduation I feel it’s important especially for this year because I don’t feel like I got the end to my degree that I needed. There’s nothing we could do about the virus but I feel like mentally it’s not come to an end because we didn’t all get to say goodbye.

I barely got to say goodbye to everyone on my course or my lecturers so to have a graduation would not only be a reunion but the ‘end’ I need to this chapter in my life, a celebration of what I’ve achieved.

I’m not sure what’s coming next for me in terms of work due to theatres being closed until further notice but I hope with the support of those around me that I’ll be able to find something whilst I wait for the world to return to normal”.

Thalia Cooley, 21, Maths

“I think it’s pretty shitty that it’s all been cancelled. I’m terrified about graduating- especially as it’s probably going to be a recession after all this- woo, go us. My third year was ruined by coronavirus and I was really looking forward to summer ball- because SCOUTING FOR GIRLS was going to be playing- I already had my dress sorted. So that sucks.

I’m worried about my future because I don’t really know what I’m going to do yet- but I’ve got a couple of plans, and we will see. Hopefully coronavirus hasn’t ruined things TOO much”.

Niyi Bello, 21, Theatre Grad

“To be honest, I don’t really know how to feel. Third year being cut short has made things so weird and unfinished/incomplete. I am excited to graduate though, to walk across the stage and collect my certificate. That’s going to be really cool. I just really hope I will be able to see all of my course mates at graduation, being able to celebrate with them will be the cherry on top. There is still some uncertainty with everything but I am just trying to stay positive. I find comfort in knowing I have got support from my friends, family and lecturers.

I feel like third year has just been stripped away from me and my course mates. We were not able to perform our final major performances which we have all been working hard on for the last few months. So many things have not fallen in our favour since first year which has been annoying but I feel that as a group we have all handled each disappointment well and professionally. It would have been nice to end my uni experience with all of my course mates, it would have been nice to have a little gathering or form of celebration.

Regarding my future, I am not sure what I am going to do next. I am exited to see what the future holds. I will need to go back to the drawing board and way up my options. I think the next logical step is to find a job to help fund all of the short acting courses I will be attending and the equipment I will need for my acting journey”.