COVID-19 has changed the way that people across the world live their daily lives.
Along with new additions such as wearing a mask or social distancing, many people have also lost things. Unemployment rates in the United States rose to 13 percent this May, although in April of this year, they reached an all-time high of 14.4 percent.
Among those struggling to find a job in our new normal sits the Doane University class of 2020 who graduated this past May.
Because of COVID-19 and the evacuation of our campus before the semester ended, many seniors lost out on opportunities that most are able to experience, including their commencement ceremony which was postponed to September of this year.
Lydia James is one of the many seniors who has been affected by COVID-19 in a plethora of ways. James graduated this year with a major in German and a minor in Psychology. She planned on going into a job where she could utilize her psychology minor until she was able to get into graduate school.
“You have to give and take at this point,” James said when talking about trying to get into a new workspace.
This summer, James originally planned to work at Boys Town as a counselor for youth; however, because of COVID, the camp was shut down for the remainder of the season. Although these plans have fallen through, James is hopeful that she will be able to utilize the degrees she holds in future jobs.
“Never stop looking for jobs and don’t feel bad for doing a part-time job. It was so easy to forget I was graduating during a pandemic; the fact that we can be here at Doane is so special,” James said.
Another graduate, Hannah Loos, is working as a teacher this upcoming school year. Loos graduated this past May with a double major in Education and Vocal Performance. She is working as an elementary teacher in Fremont schools this fall, which she said she feels incredibly grateful for.
“I am very lucky that my career choice was one that worked out for me during a global pandemic,” Loos said when asked about how COVID has affected her personal goals.
For Loos, finding a job wasn’t the most difficult part- trying to get her license paperwork completed in time for the beginning of school was.
Similarly to James, Loos said she believes that being a Doane alumni has been extremely helpful in the process of entering the workspace.
“Doane's education program is very highly regarded by many of the surrounding districts…the education program does a great job of preparing their grads for the workforce,” Loos said.
Loos is hopeful for the future in regards to her own life and the school districts she is working in. She said she sees grace and love between her students, something she believes we can all implement in our lives.
Although life on campus has changed and our seniors have left to start their next chapter, we can work to grant each other and ourselves more kindness.