Most people right now are worried about catching COVID-19 but young newly graduates have additional worry of not catching their future. Plans of high school and college newly graduates are on hold now while they are trying to work with what is going on right now as result of COVID-19 pandemic.
A recent PHS graduate, “Kelly ” (doesn’t want her real name to be mentioned) said “since Covid isn’t resolved, it has forced me to decide on going to school here, it made me redo my whole plan. I was originally planning on leaving to Oregon (EOU) and after that i’ll continue to med school in Cali and maybe come back home to work. My plan has changed to just attending PCC and finding a part time job to support my family.”
This whole situation has led to new challenges especially for those who had just graduated and are looking for a brighter future. “Even if I reach my new goal that involves staying in Palau, it still wouldn’t be as close to the goal I wanted because I’ll know that we’ll still end up struggling financially because of the new schedules and cut pays. All I’m saying is that it’ll be nice if we can go out to reach higher and better education so we can come back and give what our country deserves instead of staying here and using up what we have,” added “Kelly”.
Another student who recently graduated Palau Community College, “Sal” (not his real name), thought he would be taking a big step of his life only to find out he can’t go anywhere until all this pandemic is over. “With flights closed and with still a possible chance of getting infected if flights reopened, my parents are afraid for me to leave and get infected, so I am working and waiting to see when everything gets better.”
Even though it seems scary with many unknowns, they are hopeful and patient. One student who also graduated Mindzenty High School said “ I planned on returning to Taiwan around mid-June to prep for university but i’ll wait ‘til flights reopen again and hope it doesn’t affect my transition to University.”
Not only newly graduates but also Palauan students overseas are struggling with schooling plans. Two of the students who were scheduled to return home on the charter flight opted out due to concerns that they may not be able to get back to school in the fall if regular flights do not resume. Some are contemplating whether to return home or stay and try to get back to school in the fall or change school plans altogether due to changes caused by COVID-19 pandemic.