By Angela Jones
Students graduating from high school or college in 2020 can say something that not many people who graduated before them could say. They can say that they “have seen it all.” From a global pandemic to a president who often behaves more like a circus monkey than a world leader, the year 2020 has provided graduates with a gamut of emotions that will prove that they have the experience to withstand almost anything.
Graduates have felt fear. In addition to the normal fear of the unknown that graduates usually feel as they enter into a world of new experiences, 2020 graduates are battle-ready. Whether they are seeking a new job, to advance their education or a well-deserved break from the rigors of what they experienced in school, graduates have always been eager to take on new challenges.
New threats from a deadly coronavirus and escalating police brutality have added to the normal fears of recent graduates. It is important for graduates to realize that no challenge is insurmountable. Hope for a brighter future is a powerful weapon to have in one’s arsenal when dealing with these challenges. Graduates should remain hopeful and keep a positive attitude to be ready for opportunities that will become apparent when the world returns to normal.
Graduates have felt lonely while social distancing from family and friends. While it may be important to physically distance from loved ones, graduates can remain virtually connected to family and friends. Platforms like Zoom and FaceTime allow people to connect with others from anywhere in the world. Using these platforms will help graduates develop new skill sets that they can use in the workforce when the right opportunity presents itself.
Graduates have had to exhibit patience throughout 2020 especially when it comes to dealing with the ramblings of the President of the United States. He has fired almost as many people since he has been in the White House as he did in all of the episodes in which he appeared on The Apprentice television show. He has given terrible advice on surviving the pandemic; if we did not know better, one would think he is intentionally trying to kill people with his advice. He advised people to take hydroxychloroquine against the advice of medical professionals. Although he said he was being sarcastic, he implied that it may be okay to ingest bleach internally, which definitely should never happen.
Graduates have experienced hurt, confusion and maybe even anger while watching the senseless killing of many people at the hands of those who have taken an oath to protect the citizens they serve. Graduates should not be confused. While there are some bad apples, there are also numerous good police officers who have done great things in the service of their community. It is only a matter of time until community policing is made policy throughout the country and police departments who refuse to mirror the demographics of their community will be defunded.
I am sure graduates have felt joy in completing their studies. They should be very proud of their accomplishments. They have reached a goal that can never be taken from them; however, I would recommend that they keep a copy of their transcript in a safe place.
With all of the emotions and experiences that graduates have endured in 2020, they are ready for anything that comes their way. Armed with hope and love for their fellow man, 2020 graduates can accomplish anything they desire to achieve. I am so proud of all of the 2020 graduates; I love you all and wish you the best! If you choose to continue your studies, visit hamptonroadsmessenger.com for scholarship information, and please consider attending a Historically Black College or University (HBCU).