Our journalism alma mater held its first online convocation ceremony this Monday, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. Up until then I had been reading about robots collecting certificates for students in Japan and things like that. But to see screenshots of the online convocation ceremony of the college where we made long-lasting memories made us extremely nostalgic.

“Our convocation was such a happy day
All of us were so excited
And the morning was such a blur, everybody fussing over how they looked” I texted on my friends’ group.

N: Yeah it was so nice
N: Plus the last minute goodbyes and everything

Another friend responded.

“Fuck fuck fuck. So glad we are all not in that phase.” I said.

That 2012 morning came back to me vividly, when we were are still trainee journalists, absolutely clueless of the ruthlessness of the media industry. P Sainath, a reputed journalist & the author of ‘Everybody Loves A Good Drought’ had been the chief guest for our ceremony. All of us were happy and proud to hear him give us newbies some wisdom about journalism.

Now is a different time. I see freshers from my college now putting up frantic messages on LinkedIn, seeking any sort of job or internships they could do. Since almost all media firms are busy cost-cutting and firing people. Hiring has been frozen by most companies.

This pandemic is making me see how lucky we had been, to have graduated without a care in the world, surrounded by the friends we grew to love, with new jobs at leading publications waiting for us.

But the times are tough for everybody, a lot of my friends in the media have had to take pay cuts. Some of them are dealing with anxiety of a possible lay-off. Sometimes even I feel that maybe my decision to take a break and focus on writing could have been ill-timed.

All we can do it hope things get better. And until then, we could curse the year to ease some of our frustrations.