Set to graduate in the middle of a pandemic, I, like other college seniors, keep wondering: Who would even hire me right now?

If this happened any other semester, I wouldn’t be this anxious.

I would be bummed, sure, but I would be comforted knowing my life would likely go back to normal in a few months. I would have more classes to take and memories to make. I would have more time to prepare for my future.

But the coronavirus pandemic emerging in my final semester at the University of South Carolina has turned my life upside down. What was once supposed to be an exciting, transformative part of my life – graduating and finding a job – is now a daunting reality.

I’m not ready to join the real world, mainly because my resume is nothing to write home about. A slew of family problems in the past few years left me mentally, and sometimes physically, incapable of accomplishing many of the things I had set out to do. I don’t have the experience or impressive internships most of my peers have.

I was looking forward to reaping the benefits of senior semester. It turns journalism students into journalists. It allows you to get published. It gives you creative control of your portfolio. It helps you get not only a job, but the job you want.

My dream is to be a writer or editor for a music publication, and I wanted to use this semester to create content that highlights my passion for music and technical skills. Unfortunately, eight weeks in, I’ve mainly covered politics, breaking news and COVID-19.

The second half of the semester was supposed to be my time to shine, but the university’s switch to virtual learning changed that. I can still report on whatever topic I’d like, but my final products won’t be as strong without the resources and technology in the newsroom. It’s going to be difficult starting the career path I plan on without finishing senior semester in person.

If the coronavirus outbreak happened any other semester, life after graduation wouldn’t be such a gray area. But these are the cards I was dealt, and I plan on spending my time in quarantine working hard, applying for jobs and keeping my fingers crossed life will go back to normal soon.