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Throwing Caps

On this page, you will be able to read graduates talking about their transitioning experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. To protect our participants, all the names below are pseudonyms.

If you are a graduate, university staff or employer and would like to share your thoughts with the research team and a wider audience, get in touch with us here.

Andy | January 2023


Application status: Under review.

Application status: Under review.

Application status: Under review.


Those words scared me as I continued to gaze at the lack of responses from the applications that I’d sent.

As my postgraduate degree is drawing to a close, and the brick wall for job applications is drawn even closer, surges of fear and regret overwhelm me. Are more people going to be unemployed because of COVID, making it harder to enter into the job market? What have I missed out on that I need to do? Was it my fault that my Cantonese wasn’t good enough?

And even with all of these thoughts in my mind, all I could do is wait. And then wait some more. I was so busy trying to grab control of my life. But amidst all the waiting, I began to see clearly. It was my experiences during COVID that helped change my perspective and mental health.

COVID helped me see more clearly that I was in too much of a hurry. The pandemic reminded me to not be anxious about anything, let alone career plans. I learnt to know what I could control, and what I couldn’t. Finally, the pandemic reminded to see joy in the for the little things and be grateful for every day.

So having changed in all these ways and focusing on what was in front of me, I have graduated, and my career plans are covered.

Application status: Accepted.

Yes, COVID-19 may have brought us through troughs and dark valleys. But life is a marathon, not a sprint. Even if the present circumstances are turbulent and unforgiving, it’s ok, we’ll get there, we’ll make it.

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