Ever since quarantine began in early March, there has been extreme controversy and almost competition-like vibes about who lost the most in college from COVID-19. Although the whole world was involved in a frightening, life-altering pandemic, who really did bypass the most experience and growth from this virus, or do the circumstances of the situation make it equal?
Is it the freshman who lost one of the most fun years of their lives because school really starts to pick up the deeper you get involved? The sophomore who lost one of the major years of maturity and growth as an individual? The junior who ended up missing their fall of senior year too? The sophomore and junior who most likely had some type of internship or job lined up to get experience for their major, losing a chunk of their resume that could essentially affect their whole career beyond this point? Is it all three of these grades in general because while seniors only had to give up their last couple months, most are now having to give a year of college to the pandemic? Or the senior, who was forced to eradicate their last semester with their best friends who had gone through their most euphoric, difficult, heart breaking, fantasy-like fun years of life with them, not even getting to celebrate in graduation gowns together with the bitter-sweet taste of the conversion from being a college student to transferring to adulthood? Or the senior who worked their ass off for three and a half years for one semester of fun after getting into grad school, finishing their most demanding classes and finally being at peace within themselves and their tight-knit friends who were like family at this point?
Well, here we are going to find out who’s mindset was in the right place to have lost the most. I asked the same three questions to each college year student and here’s how it went:
Her Campus: What do you feel is the worst part of college and part of mid-growing up you feel you had to miss out on because of the Coronavirus pandemic and quarantine?
Jake Karcher (Freshman): Continuing to develop friendships with new people and my new best friends was definitely a part of college. I feel I missed out on more as a freshman than other years probably did. Also, school was probably the most lenient for my freshman year than it will be from now on so I missed a semester that may have been the most fun I ever would have had.
Maddie Lesko (Sophomore): I had just joined this club that is super involved with activities around campus so I missed out on all the new special activities coming up for my year of joining.
Patrick Lazzaro (Junior): The worst part of life I missed out on was missing out on junior spring which I’ve always heard is one of the most fun semesters of college, especially as the weather gets warmer and there are a lot of fun events and social activities.
Holly Ferrara (Senior): I was a transfer student so I missed out on having a normal first and now last year experience at UD because I was an incoming rising sophomore who still had to learn everything about a new school, so my whole experience was all over the place.
HC: What was the hardest thing to deal with school-wise going through this pandemic and quarantine?
JK (Freshman): Learning how to adapt and communicate virtually with newer friends and classes.
ML (Sophomore): Motivating myself to get through my zoom classes while going through a break-up was more difficult than it would have been if I actually had to go sit in class. Considering I got cheated on, along with the overall depletion in mental health because of a pandemic, it was hard for me to keep up in school which I know would have worked out differently if the pandemic didn’t occur.
PL (Junior): The hardest thing to deal with school-wise wasa motivating myself to do work at home on a computer. It really is a lot different than sitting in a classroom.
HF (Senior): The hardest thing to deal with school wise with corona was receiving the online education especially as a science major. The labs were online, therefore I was never able to receive interactive learning in some courses that apply to my grad school and future career.
HC: How do you think this experience changed you as a person in general?
JK (Freshman): It made me realize that people were always right when they said that you ‘never know what could happen to you tomorrow so don’t have any regrets today.’ I never thought I’d live through an experience like this and I definitely cherish the opportunities I’m given to live life now way more than I did before this happened.
ML (Sophomore): The lack and depletion of mental health was super intense because sophomore year I’ve heard from everyone I know who is older than me is one of the main years of growing and transitioning from a kid to an adult who kinda has their life together a little bit more than not. Although, I got stronger as a person and learned how to make myself happy instead of getting it from other things, so I definitely still experienced that growth, just in a different way than people normally did in their sophomore year with no guidance whatsoever.
PL (Junior): I learned to not take things for granted because I feel like we all were so used to things falling into place and having the freedom to do small things like go outside without being scared of getting severely sick.
HF (Senior): This experience opened my eyes to a new way of thinking and having to learn in a new way including teaching myself. It also made me become a much better listener because learning via zoom I’ve had to pay much more attention since I knew if I didn’t, I would have to reteach everything to myself.
It sounds like everyone had a different yet similar perspective on corona, and we definitely all came out as stronger and more appreciative souls with much more gratitude for not only the world but ourselves and our well-being as individuals. So does it really matter who forfeited the most or not? Life right now is one huge unknown and we all should work together to build each other up and help our health more than anything.