What it means to graduate During a Recession

As many of my fellow 2020 graduates know, there is a palpable feeling of loss that exists as we end our college career. Not only did we have our senior year cut short, but many of us missed out of the goodbyes and natural endings that would have acted as a capstone on our college career. Now it is very important to note that these do not matter comparatively to what is going on in the world with impoverishment, death and sickness, but it is part of the emotional costs felt by graduating students this year. These emotional costs are not the only costs for graduates, there is evidence that people who graduate during a recession earn less money compared with those who don’t over significant periods of time after the end of the recession. Therefore those graduating in 2020 may get the double-whammy of also having significantly lower lifetime earnings due to what is shaping up to be a truly horrendous economic breakdown. However, I can imagine that graduating now in some ways is a blessing in disguise, as I will not have to make the difficult decision that continuing students must make as they weigh whether they want to come back next semester due to increased financial stressors, or a lack of desire for continued virtual learning.  I can only speak for myself, but I believe that at the University of Puget Sound at least we have been lucky enough to have faculty and a university administration that have been supremely helpful, caring, and understanding. For the graduates of Puget Sound, we may not have had the graduation we expected, but the admirable efforts by the administration, faculty and staff has truly given us some good graduation memories all the same.

About Brennan

Brennan is a fourth year economics major at the University of Puget Sound.

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