December graduates plan through COVID-19

Minneola, FL, senior Breann Bates is scheduled to complete her 4+1 degree this December. Photo courtesy Breann Bates.

By Trisha Porzycki | Reporter

With the end of the fall semester approaching fast, December graduates are making plans with COVID-19 in mind. Many December graduates have to decide between attending graduate school, finding a full-time job, or taking the spring semester off.

While the job market remains dry and options are limited, Sarah Swanson, a December graduate from Edina, Minn., is looking to attend graduate school.

“I am applying to graduate school right now to get my master’s in nursing. I have one semester off, which I was planning on traveling, but now that will not happen anymore,” Swanson said. “I am stressed that I am going how to live with my parents for a semester, and where am I going to work before my program starts?”

Minneola, Fla., senior Breann Bates is taking advantage of Baylor’s 4+1 master’s opportunity.

“I technically end my undergrad classes this semester,” Bates said. “Because of COVID, I am a little sad because I am going to miss out on those in-person undergrad opportunities.”

While Bates and Swanson look forward to attending graduate school, Baylor has provided December graduates with resources to help them find full-time jobs.

The Baylor Career Center laid out resources and events to ease the job search process, including the virtual career fair on September 23rd. All students have access to online resources through Handshake and the opportunity to set up Zoom appointments with career counselors.

December graduates had to sacrifice their in-person graduation ceremony and lost their Baylor in-person experience during their last semester.

“You don’t realize how much you will miss an in-person group project until it is gone,” Bates said. “I will still be here at Baylor for my master’s program because I love Baylor, and I am hoping to cash in on all of the football and in-person opportunities that I can next year.”

In July, Baylor announced that the December in-person ceremony would be canceled. Both May 2020 and December 2020, graduates were supposed to walk in the ceremony.

“I am feeling good about graduating, but I am a little bit sad that we can’t walk,” Swanson said. “But it seems like a small price to pay to keep people safe during a global pandemic.”