Life, social and academic, for college students has completely changed following campus closures and the implementation of online lectures. These life-saving precautions have affected student life in an unprecedented way. I’ve gathered up notes based on my own experiences on the nuances and challenges that have arised in just the past month.
Getting creative with gatherings
Even though I can’t visit the friends in my hometown, let alone my college friends that are dozens of miles away, we are still finding ways to hangout. Movie nights are reinvented with Zoom and Netflix Party. Face masks and wine nights are alive and well and now filled with extra tea (thank u FaceTime Tinder dates trend).
Family tends to invade my space while attending class
My parents don’t really understand the concept of online lectures. They ask “can they hear me” every five minutes even though I’ve probably only unmuted my mic once this whole time. However, this doesn’t stop them from trying to have full on conversations with me while in class or turning the TV volume up to 100.
Zoom university is like 10x harder than a regular class
Since students are back home, for some this means being in a different time zone and others have new responsibilities all of which has hindered them from joining online conferences at regular class times. This has led professors to create new assignments to make up for participation and in class discussions. However, though it may seem like students have more time since they’re stuck at home all day every day, many students are left with less free time after having to cook meals or home school younger siblings on top of attending online lectures and completing the work assigned pre-quarantine.
Little to no job security leads to diminished income
Campus jobs have ceased causing students to have little to no income streaming. In addition to low money prospects, many internships programs that would have provided great field experience are suspended or being postponed. I’m struggling with the daunting thought of not having enough work experience when I graduate as this summer was supposed to be filled with NYC internship adventures and learning experiences.
Bored in the house and in the house bored
Has led me to binge watch and binge eat everything I get my hands on.
However challenging this month has proved to be, I have found a silver lining
Though I commuted to school, the only time I really saw my family was during the weekend and even then I was locked up in my room doing homework or hanging out with friends or at some coffee shop reading. This quarantine has really helped me to connect with my family since they are literally the only people I see every day. I’ve been more available to have thoughtful conversations with my dad, wine nights with my mom, and endless laughs with my younger brother. I’ve also taken more time for myself. I admit I’ve fallen off the fitness train (home workouts are just not for me??) but in its place I’m taking care of my spiritual being with weekly meditations and baking sessions.
To quote a Twitter meme that was trending a few weeks ago “I really wish I weren’t living through a major historical event right now!” However, I have hope that all that’s happening will truly impact the future in the most positive way. As a generation, I hope we will take these experiences into consideration when it’s our turn to be the decision-makers, the leaders, scientists, teachers, doctors, citizens; that these experiences will help us to protect each other and the future of our society.