USU graduation re-scheduled, grads launch into workforce under shadow of COVID-19

Local News

LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 News) – Utah State University graduates are among thousands throughout the nation who will earn their degree but without a graduation ceremony, and will also launch into the workforce under the shadow of COVID-19.

Seniors graduating from USU say just a few months ago, they never would have thought college graduation would be postponed.

“I think as a senior, we lost a lot of goodbyes and a lot of those closures that a lot of other people get,” said Tarren Jessop, a psychology and sociology graduate. “So, it’s been difficult for us to try and like wrap up those ends, or feel like we crossed that finish line, but there’s no line to cross at that point. At least no symbolism of it.”

“I was looking forward to it all semester and then of course, to have the celebrations after and to do all the stuff, and now we can’t do any of it,” said Alison Berg, a print journalism graduate.

USU graduation was supposed to be Friday, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, graduation is now re-scheduled for August 28th and 29th.  

“I was really looking forward to that, and I mean, I still can in August, but who knows where I’ll be,” said Kaden Anderson, a broadcast journalism graduate.

While these seniors at the Northern Utah university will not only be unable to have a traditional graduation this weekend, they’re also entering the workforce at a time unemployment numbers are at a historic high.

“I have an internship with The Chronicle of Higher Education, and that’s still on,” Berg said. “So, I’m super excited about that. After that, I’m not sure.”

“Yeah, the economy is scary, and some people and places aren’t hiring,” Anderson said.

“Some of the jobs I’m interviewing for have told me that they don’t even know when my starting date could be, it could be August,” Jessop said. “And so, it’s difficult to try and make these future plans and feel like I am taking those steps forward when there’s no clear path in front of me.”

While the next chapter of their lives is full of uncertainty at this time, these seniors said they know they’re not alone, as all 2020 graduates – high school and college – are going through the same thing.

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