How COVID-19 Will Shape the Class of 2020 For the Rest of Their Lives
They call it commencement because it’s supposed to be a new beginning.
College graduation is one of life’s last clean transitions, a final passage from adolescence to adulthood that is predictable in ways other transitions rarely are. Relationships end with breakups or death, jobs often end with quitting or firing, but college is one of the only things in life that ends with a fresh start. Except when it doesn’t.
One morning in March, Clavey Robertson took a study break and climbed onto the roof of his dorm at the University of California, Berkeley. He had spent the past year working on his senior thesis on the erosion of the social-safety net since the Great Depression, and he needed to clear his head. In the distance, Robertson could see a tiny white speck: the Diamond Princess cruise ship, carrying crew members infected with COVID-19, lingering in the San Francisco Bay.