To the Class of 2020: How to Cope With the COVID-19 Stress?

Woke up in the morning, checked the inbox, and found a university email: in light of COVID-19, we are sorry to inform all that the university is closed, the rest of the semester classes will be conducted online, and all students have one week to vacate the dormitories. The daily university routine puts on hiatus, and the outbreak of coronavirus becomes stressful for every college student, especially for current seniors. The class of 2020 becomes the class of COVID-19 and their very last school time has come to an abrupt end. In addition, the virus pandemic has made a huge negative impact on worldwide economy and decimated the labor market in every industry. The shrink of the job market creates extra challenges for fresh graduates during this unfortunate timing.

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Photo by Vasily Koloda on Unsplash

Therefore, in the following article, we wish to share with fellow graduates, the class of 2020, about some advice or other feasible plans to cope with this stress and compensate a part of your losses regarding this COVID-19 influence on upcoming graduation, career and life plan.


Time to Wrap Up

Though the classroom has been transferred to online mode during self-quarantine, it is crucial for seniors to earn the final degree by finishing up the remaining digital lectures, exams, and particularly, final paper or graduation thesis.

However, many resources have become unavailable due to the closure of universities. Students were able to get the instructions during the office hours in person, lend any physical book from the library, or book a time slot with the Writing Center. Without these physical assistances at this current time, the research environment for a final paper or thesis may be challenging, but not as bad as you thought.

Remote University Library Services

In fact, many universities have been partnered with academic databases to provide a wide range of digital resources (e.g. books, articles, videos, etc.). For example, use EBSCO Discovery Service to search millions of articles with your student account. Seniors can research for thesis via the online library catalog to view full texts online or download the pdf versions if available. Some libraries and writing centers even offer virtual consultations with subject specialists and writing instructors to hear about your research need, interest, or inquiries regarding the thesis.

Other Digital Tools

After conducting the online research, be sure to dig more into other accessible digital tools to facilitate your writing process.

  • Outline

An outline, whether general or detailed, always helps make your writing process smoother. We recommend using a mind map tool like XMind to develop the bones of an essay as it is the perfect app to draft an outline. You can also add online research notes as website links to the map for future reference and citation.

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  • Writing

The best way to produce high-quality output is to stay focused and be consistent. Try to write and finish each section at one time. Once your thoughts are interrupted by distractions or inconsistent breaks, it will be hard for you to pick up paragraphs as they may not be well-connected. Use apps such as Forest or Flora to help you concentrated and increase productivity.

  • Revision

A good thesis needs to be reviewed and revised. Once the writing process is done, it is important for the writer to go back and review everything, including the logic flow, cited evidence, and arguments. Then a self-edit is also necessary for checking spelling mistakes, inappropriate word choices, and grammar errors. Grammarly is a good tool for this.

It is better to have a second perspective to critique the essay. Share the final draft to your friends via Google Docs or other online workspaces. Ask them to proofread and comment for you. Peer editing can be a great chance to make a paper better.

For more tips on how to stay track with online class settings, or if you have any group project going on, check our previous blog, which addresses some of the most helpful suggestions for remote collaboration.

About Money Making

Due to the COVID-19 stress on the worldwide economy, recent graduates will face greater pressure when trying to secure jobs during this labor market recession. Instead of being constantly anxious, what seniors could do during self-quarantine to better position themselves and minimize the losses caused by this unfortunate timing?

Strengthen Personal Skillset

The COVID-19 stress on companies makes hiring managers tend to hire ready-to-go employees, not inexperienced apprentices. Even though fresh graduates with lack of work experience can be a great disadvantage, there are, however, ways to better prepare themselves when competing in the job market.

Chance favors the prepared mind. The new knowledge and skills you acquired will later become your advantages. Frequently check the job descriptions of listed positions in target fields. Be aware of the required skillsets and job functions. Websites such as Coursera or Skillshare are great online resources for you to use while self-quarantining at home.

Adjust Expectations

The COVID-19 stress is throwing millions of people out of work, and they are either forced to stay at home or laid off by companies. It is an undeniable fact that the class of 2020 graduates will potentially bear long-term scars due to the rapidly shrinking job market. Under this special situation, a senior might increase the chance of securing a job if s/he adjusts expectations including a lower salary level, more flexible contracts, and wider industry options.

What If…

There is always a Plan B. Finding a job after graduation is never the only solution, especially during this very special time. Here are several possible solutions that you may consider:

Gap Year

Taking a gap year is always a popular choice among young adults, which allows them to have full control over a very long period of time between life stages. To learn a new language, volunteer for an animal organization, read twenty books, spend quality time with family, enrich personal life experiences, or simply take a break. Everyone has a special reason to take a gap year, and we believe this can also be one of the options aside from landing a job for the class of 2020.

Higher Education

Pursuing for higher education can be another option for students with families who are financially capable during this turbulent year. A two-year graduate program (or five-year doctoral program) will give yourself more time to gain additional skillsets or network with more professionals and alumni to better prepare for the recovering job market in the following years.

Use the timeline structure with XMind to map out your plans for the recent years. A timeline is always clear to see what you’ve achieved and easy to adjust what’s happening next.

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Thanks for your time reading this article. The suggestions above may not be applicable to every graduate, but we do hope it helps a bit and allows the class of 2020 to adopt a positive way of thinking against the COVID-19 stress. Warmest congratulations on your graduation! Please take care, and XMind team hopes the best for you and your loved ones.

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