This semester was looking great so far. I finally understood how to balance my social life and school and academics. I finally joined two organizations that I was passionate about. I was starting to consistently make productive use of my time when I got home. I felt that things were finally going my way up until school ended abruptly.
Adjusting to coming home has been difficult. Instead of being able to chat with my classmates before lecture to bring up my excitement, I have to drag myself out of bed to listen to a live lecture. Listening to my professors live and in-person has been replaced with a video streaming platform that frustrates both my professor and my fellow classmates, as well as pre-recorded videos that take away the feel of a classroom environment– one I tend to learn best in. Instead of being able to come home to relax and spend time with my family, I’m stuck in my bedroom most of the time doing work and feeling guilty for not spending enough time with my family.
Like me, millions of students have been impacted by the coronavirus, but the problems they may face are more severe. Many college students have lost their jobs which helped fund their tuition or gave them extra cash for essential needs. Several students do not have access to an effective study environment, ranging from a toxic household to having terrible Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, some students have also lost the place they can find their next meal. Many students won’t be able to walk for graduation, something they looked forward to after many years of hard work and stress, or participate in formals, ceremonies, and many more events. Students have been told to leave their student housing with little time to make travel plans or new living arrangements. With all these issues and so many more, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and angry.
The only way to fight the virus and the changes it has caused is by reaching out to those in need and communicating your own needs to those in charge. Schools like Tech have implemented food pantries and emergency financial funds for students in need of immediate assistance. Masks are also being 3D printed to send to health officials aiding patients with the virus. Local K-12 schools are providing families with free lunches, and many companies are offering resources (like Adobe Creative Cloud and WiFi) for free. While the problems may not go away quickly, these acts of service make adjusting to these new changes a lot easier.
Besides these services, there are other, more personal changes that need adjusting to. Even though we can’t be with our friends physically, we can make an effort to check up on them and spend time with them remotely, be it through Facetime or Netflix Party. We can also reach out to our professors to let them know of any difficulties of adjusting to remote learning. No matter how frustrating the virus is, it is important to know that we are all in this together.