When the pandemic started, a common topic of conversation was which class will lose the most of their business school experience? 2020, 2021 or 2022… At this point, I think we can all agree that my class, the class of 2021, has been effected the greatest. We got a whopping 5 months, not even a full two quarters, of business school before COVID-19 hit.
As we watch the vaccine roll out, the question I have been asking myself is: “Will we get a Spring quarter? Will we able to achieve some form or normalcy before graduation in June?”
Unfortunately, I do not believe that we should get our hopes too high. Booth chose to not give all students access to regular testing for the fall quarter, whereas other schools provided regular testing. The city of Chicago does not plan on residents in our age group getting the vaccine until May 31st at the earliest.
So the harsh reality for the Class of 2021 is that we most likely will not get a Spring quarter.We will most likely not have an in-person graduation (this was officially confirmed today). And for those of us that have secured post-grad jobs – we should at least be thankful that we got what we came here for. Albeit at the loss of all the fun that should’ve accompanied it…
I think we can safely say that as of now – we should not expect to have a relatively normal spring quarter. Sorry fellow 2021 peers. We got the shortest end of the stick.
But, for the Class of 2022 and 2023, I foresee you all reaching some semblance of normalcy come August and September when the new school year begins. Here are my wishes for each class:
Class of 2021
Friends. Things didn’t work out as we had hoped. Our experience has been so far from what we imagined, and every prayer that we had to get it back keeps getting crushed. It’s okay to be upset. Every day I wake up and try to convince myself to be happy and not disappointed. Alas, although we will be remembered as that business school class that didn’t actually get to go to business school, we have every opportunity to make the most out of this time now and after we graduate. We will have all of the tools to stay connected and continue to create new relationships, make new memories, and build stronger friendships with those in our circles. All hope isn’t lost, even though the future right now is bleak.
Class of 2022
Many of you have already secured your summer internship, in fact some of how got a 2 for 1 package with your internship and full time offer with a nice pretty bow. Hopefully the majority of you will secure your post-graduation jobs this summer. I personally think that your class has been given a great gift. In fact: you may end up having the greatest opportunity to truly enjoy all of the pleasures of business school since you will be able to focus on relationship building, networking and making the most of the back half of your experience. You spent the whole first quarter of school LOCKED in. Focused. Doing what you came here to do with little distractions.
For those of you that will be re-recruiting, your balancing act will be harder than ever. Don’t miss out on the fun – you will get a job. Say yes to everything, if anything do it for the Class of 2021 that had no idea what was coming. Act like its your first year next year, and be open to meeting all of the classmates that you didn’t have the chance to randomly meet in virtual school. And, use not knowing whatever events and traditions your school usually has as a reason to touch base with as many alum as possible. The world will be your oyster.
Class of 2023
Fingers crossed – you will have the best of both worlds. Your job will be to tap into both the class of 2021 and 2022 for advice on how to tackle the business school experience, as your experience will not be completely virtual ( and that’s all that the class of 2021 knows). Now that you know that nothing is promised, make sure to have every experience that you hoped to have. Schools will be doing their best to rebound from the hellish year and a half that they have endured and will be throwing money to make your experience great (so that you will be a happy alum). Don’t get too carried away with the newfound freedom that you will have. But, also don’t wait to go to a wine club event until the spring – because spring may never show up.