Young adults have experienced significant changes and cutbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We investigated how young adults from Germany, Austria and Switzerland experienced their educational and vocational situation in the past and how they see their current situation and their future. The data was collected through expert and peer interviews, i.e., that some of our 17- to 20-years old interviewees were trained after the expert interview to conduct interviews with their peers themselves. The analysis shows challenges such as concerns over the socially perceived worthlessness of degrees during COVID-19, the prospective fear of difficulty in making contacts when starting in a new place, or the loss of motivation due to perceived omnipresence of school in everyday life. Changes such as a lack of communal celebration of graduation due to the elimination of school-based graduation activities, or developing independence after a distance learning experience due to required personal responsibility, could be seen. They used a variety of coping strategies, for example confrontive coping, distancing, seeking social support or escape-avoidance.