Mary Grace von Thron, Campus Carrier deputy news editor
After having their senior year cut short due to the pandemic, many recent Berry graduates have had to readjust their post-graduate plans.
Kenny Morgan, a member of the class of 2020 and vocal performance major, had many options to choose from following graduation. However, only one of his options still stood due to the pandemic.
“Prior to the pandemic I had about half a dozen options for after graduation”, Morgan said. “I had apprenticeships with theaters that I was talking to, I’ve been accepted to grad school at NYU and I had been accepted to the Disney College Program.”
Morgan ultimately chose to be a part of the Disney College Program, a semester-long internship at the Walt Disney World where students work in a front-line role at the theme parks and resorts. However, two weeks after Berry began online instruction, Morgan was informed of the cancellation of the Disney College Program. He was also informed that almost all of his other offers had been canceled as well.
“Really the only previous option that I had left was getting my graduate degree,” Morgan said. “Which I wasn’t intentionally intending to do this quickly, and maybe not even at all.”
Morgan is currently at New York University (NYU) where he is pursuing his master’s degree in vocal performance and musical theatre. Currently, most of his classes are being held online.
Despite having almost all of his course work online, Morgan has still found time to form relationships with people, albeit in a different way than before.
“It’s still a sharp difference from being at Berry obviously and being in the dorms and seeing people every single day,” Morgan said. “There’s definitely been a few times when I’ll go Monday through Friday and not leave my apartment.”
However, Morgan has found some positive things throughout this experience.
“It’s definitely given me a chance to really on getting my grad degree just because there aren’t as many distractions because things aren’t open,” Morgan said. “And it’s saving me some money because I can’t see shows every week in New York because nothing’s open right now.”
Morgan planned on going into the theatre industry before the pandemic hit but is aware it might be awhile until the theatre industry recovers.
“We were one of the first ones really hit and we’ll probably be the last ones to recover,” Morgan said.
Broadway theatres were shut down in March and will be remained closed until at least May 2021, according to the Broadway League.
Another member of the class of 2020, Griffin Davis, has been working for Comcast in Atlanta as a financial analyst.
Davis was offered a job with Comcast after completing an internship in the summer of 2019. He was originally supposed to start his job in July, but because of COVID-19, his start date was pushed to September. Currently, Davis is working from his one-bedroom apartment in Atlanta.
“Normally I would obviously be in the office, but I’m on the sidelines, working mainly through Microsoft Teams virtually with my team,” Davis said. “So it’s very different in that I wake up and roll out of bed and walk three feet to my desk in my bedroom for work.”
Davis has found both pros and cons to working remotely.
“It’s nice to take your lunch break and be able to make food for yourself instead of having it be prepared and pack it beforehand,” Davis said. “But I also miss the little interaction that you get in the office that you don’t get when you’re working from home.”
Davis also mentioned that the most valuable thing he’s learned during the year 2020 is to “roll with the punches.”
“In the last year, all of us have faced a lot of adversity and there was a lot of different plans that were set in place that didn’t happen”, Davis said. And just being able to say, ‘yeah, what we had planned or what was going to happen isn’t happening anymore,”. “And we’re going to make the best of it and have a good attitude about it and do what we can with what we’re given.”
Alex Beato graduated from Berry in 2019 and has since been attending law school at Georgia State University (GSU). Similar to many colleges and universities, several of Beato’s classes are virtual.
“Which is very difficult for law school because we’re reading on average 50 pages per class and law school is a lot of discussion-based, it’s not super lecture heavy for the most part” Beato said.
Beato also serves as a mentor for first year students at GSU. Due to the fact that many first- year students have chosen to attend law school virtually, Beato has not been able to form relationships with her first year students as much as she wanted to.
Building relationships with new professors has also proven to be challenging. Instead of meeting with professor’s in-person, Beato has had to email or Zoom with them to communicate.
“It’s just not nearly as authentic in my opinion,” Beato said.