My dreams were crushed

Like many the pandemic has affected my life alot. At the start everything was pretty normal, but eventually things started to change a lot. When the pandemic did start I was a student at UNC Asheville and it was my last year. I was about to graduate that may and at first I thought that everything would remain the same. I thought that I would graduate and still have the big ceremony that I had always dreamed of and that afterwards the job that I had lined up would be waiting for me. Sadly that was not the truth. So of course all of our classes and moved on line and it kind of seemed like a blessing in disguise because I was really overwhelmed at the time with work, school, and an organization that I was involved with, and all the time that I spent volunteering.

Unfortunately, my job let me go because they couldn't afford to have me on board anymore so I ended up just being in class. I really enjoyed the leisure time that I had just gained and I did take advantage of the first few weeks in quarantine to learn new things like baking, knitting, and embroidering. Then I graduated and that's when I noticed that everything was going to go downhill.

It all started when my dad got sick. Fortunately nobody else did just him but it was painful to go through seeing that he was always a strong person in our house and he was struggling to stay awake every single day. After I graduated, the jobs that I had lined up told me that they couldn't take me on board because they were not going to be able to afford my salary anymore they told me that I could remain an intern but I did have to pay to be an intern because parking was not free and I had no other source of income so it was not a good idea. I moved back home and I started looking for work around here. I spent about three months looking for a job related to what I had just graduated in an I could not find one at all. I was becoming dis-illusioned with the idea of being a young adult working in something that I love and at some point I had decided that if I couldn't find a job in one more month that I would go work at a farm where my aunts work. Well in that month I even looked for jobs outside of my field I looked for a job to be a teacher and I looked to work in any office setting whatsoever even customer service but I always ended up coming up empty handed and the month passed so I asked my aunts to let me work with them at the farms. At the very beginning of September I started working in the farms and I've been there ever since still looking for a job related to what I studied but focusing on doing that work as well as I can and happy that I have an income.

On the one hand I feel disappointed in what my life became after I graduated because I did not end up doing what I thought I would and I know that one day I will be able to and I just hope that jobs don't wonder about this break in between studying and working and ask why I ended up working in a farm, but on the other hand I'm really happy and thankful that I am with life that my family is with life and that my dad is OK and stronger than ever.

I know that I'm really fortunate to not have lost the single family member even though most of them did get sick throughout different times in the pandemic. I spend most of my days going to the farms and coming home around 6-7 sometimes 8 and I usually shower and get on my computer and start looking for jobs around here that I could do. I would love to move back to Asheville, but I think right now the best thing that I can do is save money because people and some businesses are struggling financially.

I hope that when the pandemic end we will be happier and stronger and with more will to carry on our daily life being excited of what's to come. I feel like many of us lost hope in the futures that we had planned at least me and my friends because I know we're all young and we all graduated during the pandemic and we didn't get ceremonies we didn't get jobs but I really think that a lot of us don't see a happy future because all we see is life in a pandemic. A lot of us wants to be excited about the next day instead of worrying about our careers. I am confident that the vaccine will help us accomplish that sooner. I'm sad that many people don't want to get it and many people are hesitant, but I am also confident that the majority of us do want to get the vaccine and are educated enough to know that the vaccine will help us and since we are the majority we will be able to overcome the pandemic together.

In the future hopefully when I have a job in my career, I will look back to the overalls that I wear at work and remind myself that I've lived through a pandemic and that I survived, and I prevailed with my life. Obviously, this was an unexpected twist for me so I know that when things return to normal and hopefully my life return to my career, I will see this hat and I will see these dirty pants and I will think wow can't believe that that happened to me.

This story is part of a Agricultural Workers collection.