The Anti-Climactic Drama of Graduating During a Pandemic


When I started university three years ago, I imagined finishing my studies with a movie-like fanfare. I pictured emerging triumphantly from the exam hall and being welcomed by my friends with cheers and prosecco.  I definitely didn’t imagine I’d be finishing with a click on Turnitin in my childhood bedroom on a rainy Tuesday afternoon.

I feel like the last semester of my Third Year can be summed up as quietly dramatic. Life has been very lowkey since I moved back home to complete my studies, and it has been super tough to stay motivated enough to complete my dissertation and assignments to a standard I’m happy with while being the only student in the house. Being alone in those struggles both made them harder to complete, and harder to talk about – it didn’t seem constructive to vent about my reading and chapter structures with my parents.

This sense of loneliness ended up permeating into my final submission too. My parents are very proud of me for finishing, but because they haven’t been through the whole process, they can’t understand the immense sense of relief now it’s finally all over, nor the urge to really let go. A civilised celebratory dinner is lovely, but doesn’t quite match up to the homemade cocktails and singing at the top of our lungs that I would’ve had with my mates at uni.

I don’t want to sound like a typical spoiled student complaining about being deprived of a party, but it is a bit of a downer that at the end of a very trying uni experience, most of us haven’t even had a traditional uni celebration to pat ourselves on the back.

It’s easy for me to say that what matters is the achievement not the celebration and that we can make up for it down the line anyway, but it doesn’t make it any less disappointing in the moment. There’s no point trying to sugar-coat the fact that a whole load of us have effectively graduated on our own, and it sucks.


Features Editor

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