To be a college graduate in 2019 meant that you were better off than any other class since the 2008 recession. The economy was strong and unemployment numbers were at an all-time low. Being a female college graduate — 54 percent of students — seemed hopeful, too. In just the previous four years, they had seen the Women’s March, the #MeToo movement; Congress had just sworn in a record number of women, its most diverse class in history.
To be a college graduate in 2020 means that you are inextricably linked to the biggest pandemic in a century. It means a looming recession and all-time high unemployment rates. It means watching as systemic inequalities, including racism and sexism, are laid bare.
The data already show that recent college graduates are struggling. According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in March, half of the oldest Gen Zers (ages 18 to