by Hailey Barrus–A cap, a gown, and a pandemic?
As the school year comes to an end, Morningside seniors are preparing for graduation on May 15th. This is a luxury that the seniors of 2020 did not get to enjoy due to the global pandemic.
A year later, Morningside has experienced several precautions, made vaccines available, and has been keeping a weekly COVID update in order to make the Morningside Experience as “normal” as possible.
However, there are still some concerns from students on how prepared they feel for entering the world after a catastrophic year filled with death, violence, and isolation. During the duration of this last year, students of all ages have had to adjust to a new format of learning and disrupted spaces each and every day.
Morningside senior Kenny Osten said, “This last year has been extra difficult. A lot of my course load is better learned in a hands on environment, and with COVID we have had to adjust.”
Osten is not alone. Many students have faced similar struggles. With online courses, unreliable internet access, and quarantining, keeping track of their mental and physical health has become even more important for students.
“I have done the majority of my classes on zoom over the course of this last year, and I have found it less motivating than actually being in the classroom. The longer we stay in this online world of learning the more I feel it affecting my mental health. With graduation coming up, I am stressed, but the weight of this year will be a relief when it is over,” said said Sadie Meyerink.
Not only are students faced with added stress in the classroom, there have been concerns over finding jobs as well. When the coronavirus first attacked the United States back in 2020 many businesses were forced to reduce staff, and some even closed due to financial difficulties. This financial crisis has limited jobs throughout this year.
Morningside 2019 graduate Madison Schueth has found it difficult to find a job within her area of interest since the pandemic. “I graduated with a degree in psychology and theatre, and although they are very different should have a wide range of jobs for me to apply for. This hasn’t been the case. With businesses closing and limiting their in-person staff, I have found it extremely difficult to find a job. Right now I am taking what I can, and am hopeful positions will start opening back up soon”, said Schueth.
Schueth is currently employed in Omaha, Nebraska, and hopes to find a career within her area of interest very soon.
There is a lot that Morningside has learned so far throughout the pandemic and by helping students adjust to their environment. Making sure students feel prepared and supported during these uncertain times is of utmost importance according to all of the interviewed seniors.
Morningside seniors have access to the entire staff in the Career Center, professional counselor Bobbi Meiser, and several support groups on campus if they feel they are not where they need to be by graduation.
Stacie Hays, associate vice president of career services and professional development, has been working with seniors since the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. She is constantly sending out graduation reminders and job openings via email to students.