One Senior Shares: Dealing with Stress of Graduating in the Year of COVID-19

girl with bike on bridge
Sarah Roberts ('20)

March 19, 2020
Sarah Roberts ('20)

The final semester of senior year of college is stressful for anyone who has gone through it. The to-do lists seem never ending with capstone projects, finding a job and figuring out what life may look life after walking across the graduation stage in May. Not to mention having to say goodbye to friends who we spent the past four years with and not knowing when we would see them again.

These pressures create tremendous stress any year, but due to the crises caused by COVID-19, this graduating year has presented itself an unprecedented challenge amplifying the normal stress by a million for the class of 2020.

students arranged into the number 2020 

As a senior at Gonzaga University, here's how I am dealing with stress. I hope this can help not just my fellow senior class, but anyone who experience stress during this time.


  • Take advantage of the outdoors, go for a run or a walk.
  • Try workouts like yoga or Pilates. YouTube has videos for great at-home workouts. Many workout studios, local favorites such as The Union and Empire Fitness, are posting workout videos and ideas on their Instagram accounts. (Check out @thisistheunion and @empirefit509). Yoga and Pilates can easily be done in your own living room.
  • Put on happy music and dance out all of your stress in your home.


Check out Spotify or Apple Music’s pre-made playlists. You can find anything from songs that make you want to dance to tunes that will help you meditate. Here are some of my favorite playlists on Spotify:

  • Mood Booster
  • Happy Hits!
  • Good Vibes
  • The Stress Buster
  • Motivation Mix
  • Yoga and Meditation
  • Zumba Beats


Meditation can look many different ways. It doesn’t have to be sitting cross-legged humming “om” if that isn’t your jam. There are plenty of apps that have guided mediations which makes the process easier. Some of my favorites are Calm, Headspace and Insight Timer. If you want to move while you meditate, try walking around in nature and embrace the beauty and the sounds. 


We should all be practicing social distancing during this time, but that doesn’t mean you have to be alone. Take advantage of technology and call or video-chat with friends and family. Something that immediately relieves my stress is FaceTiming my family and seeing my dogs at home. Through today’s technology, we can be social without physically being together.


A clean space creates a clean mind. If your space is cluttered, your mind will be cluttered, which can create more stress. Take advantage of the time you have at home to get your space organized. I promise it will make you feel better.

GU Resources: Cura Personalis

Gonzaga’s Center for Cura Personalis (CCP) is here for students during this time.

  • Check out this Wellness Toolbox which has resources and tips for a variety of challenges, from stress to anxiety.  
  • CCP is also offering Zoom meetings or phone conversations with case managers.
“We can talk about healthy habits, utilizing resources, and how to work through all this stress and anxiety surrounding the coronavirus and online classes.”
Nicola Mannetter, director 
  • Call: 509-313-2227
  • Email:
  • Concerned about a fellow student? Fill out a form here: and a CCP team member will reach out as appropriate while maintaining confidentiality.