Graduating in lockdown: A story of a student in India

I am delighted to introduce Vaishnavi, bringing an insight from India on the current lockdown situation for herself and her life as a student.

Vaishnavi has a great blog of art, photography, food and travel (safe to say it is four of my favourite things!) and I appreciate being able to share her story on my blog for the WordPress community.

I hope you all enjoy the read and this insight all the way from India!



Namaste! I am Vaishnavi Karnam, a 22-year old Communication Designer who just graduated from college during this worldwide lockdown. I am originally from Hyderabad and Bengaluru, two of the many state capitals of India, though I have been born and brought up in New Delhi, which is India’s capital. Coming from a rich cultural background from Southern India, my parents made sure my brother and I know our lineage, roots and our native language. Having said this, I am multi-lingual.


Being an elder child, I have always been given a lot of responsibility. But I have had my moments of being a brat and trying to do what I wanted to do. Also, making sure that I did things that I was expected to. I am not only my dad’s little girl, but I am close to my mom as well. My puppy dog eyes are irresistible and always works for me when it comes to my parents. Even though I was pampered a little bit, but I was also made to learn the hardships of life.

Since I was a kid, I have tried my hand at whatever was available to me. Starting from art, craft to music, dance and even sports. Oh, baking and reading too! You can say I am the jack of all trades and master of some. Not ‘none’! I have always had multiple interests, and I made sure to keep trying out new things as and when possible. One such thing that caught my attention and stuck with me amongst a few others is travelling. I have grown up looking at pictures and listening to my dad’s stories from when he used to travel for work. Listening to those stories kept me at the edge of the seat no matter how many times I heard them. It made me want to have some of my own stories like that, to feel that adrenaline rush every single time. That’s how my love for travelling started and, during one of my internships, I discovered my inclination to write. This gave birth, more like helped me to begin my blog. I write about food, travel experiences and sometimes life lessons as well.


When it came to choosing a career path, I was sure that I wanted to do something different from what anyone’s done in my family. A lot of parents in India pre-decide what course their child should pursue in school or college, mine never forced me into anything I didn’t want to do. From planning to study psychology when I started high school to then changing my mind and finally graduating as a Communication Designer, it has been quite a journey. All throughout college, one thing that my friends and I were looking forward to was an extraordinary graduation showcase and a memorable farewell. After all, we were going to start a new phase of our lives. I definitely didn’t expect 2020 to go like this. Like everyone else, I also thought 2020 was going to be my year. I was supposed to start the next phase of my life. I still would be taking the next step, but in a much different way than expected.


Never had I thought for COVID-19 to spread and become a pandemic leading to a lockdown almost everywhere in the world. Considering that I graduated not too long ago, I had about 2-3 months left for my college life to get over. I was hoping to have fun with my friends, peers and faculty in the college, having the most wonderful last few days of college that was left. Every plan I had went down the drain. I was sitting at home, either working on my graduation project, giving presentations online, which is nowhere near to the actual experience. I was usually found dancing and singing at celebrations in college, hanging out with friends, lounging in our studios, travelling and making memories that would last a lifetime.  I was never a social butterfly, but I have had my fair share of memories from my college life. Now, I can only imagine what I would have been doing in the past few months if we weren’t confined to our homes due to the pandemic. At this moment, we are planning what we can do once all of this is over, but we can only hope that it actually happens.

A week before the lockdown was announced, I was travelling for my graduation project in the mountains in northern India. This trip I took was preponed at the last moment; otherwise, there was quite a lot of chances that I would have got stuck at an unknown destination with hardly 3-4 pairs of clothes. I was lucky enough for my plans changing at the last minute. Though I am happy that I was back home right on time, unlike my friend who is stuck in an unknown town in Rajasthan (I feel so bad for him). Being a restless soul and staying at home 24/7 wasn’t really turning out the best for me. I was used to staying out of my house for at least 10-11 hours a day, and suddenly it went down to zero. Coping up to this change was tricky, trying to adjust to the new routine all of a sudden. We are a family of four, and I can say for sure that this is the first time that all of us have to stay under one roof for so long without stepping out at all. We had to adjust to each other’s new routine as a family. It was quite hilarious actually. Initially, it was challenging for me to keep sane, but then I tried small activities to help me adjust to this new routine. The first few days, I used to go to the terrace to look at the sunset and walk around a bit. Never had I seen so many people on their terraces. With nowhere else to go, that was the only escape.


Though when I am talking about what I used to do before COVID-19 struck, I feel like I am talking about a different life altogether. A life before taking multiple precautions to step out of the house and terrible news reaching us every day. There are some things that I used to do daily and miss doing it now. I miss the peak hour rush in the metros, booking a cab or bargaining with auto drivers, chilling at my favourite cafes and exploring Delhi even after staying in this city all my life. One thing I miss the most is eating out, especially Indian street food. It’s to die for.

I had a plan, to graduate college, travel and explore a new destination with my brother, get a job at a different city, move there and start fresh. I have always lived with my parents, except for a few years in between where I moved out to be closer to college. I was excited and hoping for a change. With the pandemic hitting us all, there have been so many changes all of a sudden. With employees being laid off left and right, hiring has definitely come to a freeze. The dream of getting the ideal job I had hoped for has been crushed. Sort of. The chances are quite low, considering the numerous people who are now in the market trying to look for new jobs. Though I am not giving up hope to find the perfect job for me, it is still scary when I think about it.

Now that I am free, I am trying to catch up on writing, reading, helping my mum with household chores and cooking. What I do whenever I have the time mostly depends on my mood. There are days when I only feel like binge-watching a show, texting my friends or just chilling in our house cribbing about when I’d get to go out. Video calls, virtual collaborations, Instagram stories of our routine, Tik Toks are now the latest trend.

I sometimes wonder what if Covid-19 hadn’t become such a vital matter, what if things were different, but it’s just left to what if. We can only dream or imagine what the scenario would be but cannot actually know. I know that with a nationwide lockdown in India, there have been positive implications. Pollution levels have really gone down, natural habitat is getting better, less traffic on the roads and we are spending more time with family. But did we really need something severe to affect us to make out lives slow down? Life has given us time to make things better, take time out for things we stopped doing because we never had the time, but did it have to be after putting so many lives at stake? I am trying to think positive, hoping that we all get out of this safe and sound, but I sometimes fear what else could happen, which might make things worse.


Well, that’s just me. I hope all of you are keeping safe and are doing well. I just hope one day, things will get back to normal and life will be better again. Until then, let’s hope for the best and stay healthy!




Thank you to Vaishnavi for providing this insight for my ‘Life in Lockdown’ series, aiming to provide a glimpse into the lives of people around the world during this pandemic.

All words are Vaishnavi’s own and for more great stories, art, photography, food and travel, please visit The Vaish Saga, and @thevaishsaga on Instagram.

Have a great week everyone!


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96 thoughts on “Graduating in lockdown: A story of a student in India”

  1. Thank you for highlighting a beautiful blog/person and a window into an experience of our global shutdown. Across languages and cultures, resilience and feelings seem similar.


    1. It does seem like we can all relate around the world to how it feels during lockdown, which can only be a good thing. Thank you so much for reading Vaishnavi’s post, I appreciate it. I appreciate your kind words 🙂


  2. Thanks a lot Sam for introducing us to Vaishnavi.

    Hearty congrats on your graduation !! All the batches of 2020 are the special ones. The whole world’s gonna remember your graduation for a long, long time. All the very best with your job hunt.

    Cheers !!


    1. I agree it is a special time to graduate, and these graduates will be remembered for sure! Thank you for reading and for the best wishes to Vaishnavi 🙂


    1. I agree it is a great post and a wonderful insight. Thank you so much for the kind words here! I hope you are having a great weekend.


  3. You have recollected your memory and connected it to the present scenario. Nice write-up. I am very curious about your next story.


  4. A heartbreaking and hopeful story, all rolled into one. Thanks Sam for bringing Vaishnavi’s story to us; it’s a potent reminder of what youth are working through these days, and the resilience that is being called upon. Curiously, I just posted on my blog a similar story – about my nephew (in the US), a high school senior, living through a similar season. (I’ll share it with Vaishnavi too) Hope you and your family are well!


    1. Thanks for the lovely words here towards Vaishnavi’s post, and for giving a little insight into a similar story you have. I hope all is well with you and that you’re having a great weekend 🙂


  5. Very good way of reinventing oneself, I can relate to this story with more hope now. Thanks Vaishnavi.


    1. I am glad you can relate to the post, and that you enjoyed the read. I hope you are having a great weekend! Thanks for the kind words.


  6. You have beautifully penned what each one of us is going through – hope and trepidation. Wish you all the best Vaishnavi!


    1. Thank you Kavita, I am pleased you enjoyed Vaishnavi’s post! I appreciate the kind words and hope you are having a great weekend 🙂


  7. Beautiful write up. Also loved the photos. Felt quite jealous that Vaishnavi is with her family under one roof during this pandemic. My brother and I really wants to go home, but our lockdown isn’t over yet. 😦

    Thank you for sharing this Sam. Stay safe and have a great day!


    1. Thank you for reading Vaishnavi’s post, I appreciate your kind words here. I am sorry to hear you aren’t able to be with family right now, I hope you can be reunited soon. Stay safe in the meantime and I hope you’re having a great weekend 🙂


  8. beautiful insight during lock down enjoyed your writing my wishes to Vaishnavi great future in writing and personal life. Nice photography less pollution added more clarity.


  9. Vaishnavi,

    Pursue your instincts,

    Well written blog, nice expression, whole media are going to change post Current scenario…

    There will be more opportunities in non traditional sectors, if not create your own …

    Returns or energy exchange should never be criteria, just take the career as play where I have done, my life itself is a play , non serious….

    Enjoy your life Be happy..

    Umesh kB


  10. Great blog Vaishu. You wrote at such a ease and feel for you and such kids who missed their graduation ceremony. Also most important is to get over it which you are good at.


    1. Thank you, it really means a lot to know you’re enjoying the stories. I too appreciate receiving them and knowing how alike we are no matter where we are in the world!


  11. It is plesure to read your blog Vaishnavi. Lockdown just gave an opportunity to look into our self and explore something new. Your photography is so nice. Looking forward for your next.


    1. I agree, I cannot wait for food markets to open up again. Thank you so much for reading Vaishnavi’s guest post, it is appreciated 🙂


  12. Thank you for sharing this! Was a really great and comforting read actually.

    I’ve had a bit of an off day today. You can say nothing has happened or you can say everything has happened (considering what is going on in the world right now). But reading this made me feel better actually.

    Vaishnavi – I can tell you have a really good and strong spirit. It’s amazing what writing can do for you so I hope you continue 🙂


    1. Thank you so much for reading Vaishnavi’s post, I am pleased to read it has made you feel a little bit better. I hope things are well with you and you are still in high spirits 🙂

      Have a lovely weekend, and stay safe!


  13. very inspiring, i can tell that you are a very motivated student 😉
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  14. I don’t now… Y sometime .. simple story also… connect the people
    Best of luck looking for ..more stories…


  15. wow very nice and important article blog post,,,,,It’s help me and our new generation people very much,,,,I regular read your post,,,,,waiting for your next blog post,,,Thank you very much.

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    1. Thank you Sophia! I think I am going to just keep on exploring London, especially the parts that are currently closed. I hope you are doing well too and that you have many plans awaiting you after all this blows over!


  16. I can totally relate, completing post graduation in lockdown. Batch 2020. Struck with PGDM in Rural Management degree. I had a placement job in hand, which I had to reject due to unavoidable reasons. I don’t know what future holds now.. I too had dreamt of something similar like joining job after completing degree, paying back edu loan, visiting places after completing college and happy family while I will be earning.. I have hope with me and my prayers to keep doing good.


    1. I wish you all the best, this year hasn’t been kind to anyone. I am sure 2021 will be much better for you and us all, keep going and we will see the light at the end of the tunnel. You will do great I am sure 😀


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