I was fresh out of varsity and then Covid-19 hit, leaving me unemployed and in a rut

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Ayanda Mgcina had just finished her tertiary studies when Covid hit SA and she lost out on the opportunity to attend a graduation ceremony. Photo supplied
Ayanda Mgcina had just finished her tertiary studies when Covid hit SA and she lost out on the opportunity to attend a graduation ceremony. Photo supplied

More than anything, the Covid-19 pandemic has been an emotional rollercoaster for me, and in the last year I have battled to stay afloat.

At times, it felt like my mental health was trying to compete with the virus.

I completed my undergraduate studies last year at Varsity College, Sandton in 2019 and looked forward to graduating with my Bachelor of Arts in 2020. But then, Covid-19 hit.

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Graduation is a big day for students. It's a day in which people, even those who don't know you, celebrate with you. It was a moment that I looked forward to since I started university.

But there was no graduation ceremony to be had, so I never had a sense of completion, even when I received my certificate via the post. And, as if that wasn't enough, I had to face unemployment.

The pressure that came with finding a job at such a tough time was a nightmare.

I think it was even harder to be surrounded by people who had secure employment and were financially stable.

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At the same time, I looked around me and saw tragedy, death, pain and hopelessness, and knew the year signified something more extensive than what the human mind was able to understand. 

Covid-19 affected so many people in so many ways, and today, though I received an internship opportunity at W24, many other people are still struggling. My only hope is that we find our way back to normality because this isn't healthy. 

* Ayanda Mgcina is an intern at W24

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