How COVID-19 Is Affecting College Students

 

It’s 2020 and the world is in full panic mode. The flying cars we expected are not here, nor are robots who are supposed to erase mankind. Instead, our biggest nightmare has turned into reality and we fear we can’t do anything about it. COVID-19 is here and it’s the world’s biggest pandemic yet. Not only has it affected low-income families, healthcare/essential workers, and business owners; but it also has impacted students’ lives.

 

What is Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can be found in animals or humans. Coronaviruses found in humans are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. The newly identified Coronavirus is COVID-19. COVID-19 spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. According to the World Health Organization, the droplets do not travel more than a few feet and fall onto surfaces or onto the ground within a few seconds. The flu-like symptoms include: cough, fever, shortness of breath, muscle aches, sore throat, diarrhea, and headache.

 

The Warning & The Impact 

I think I can speak for everyone when I say the effects of the Coronavirus were much bigger than expected. Not to mention, no one was prepared despite the warning of our 44th President, Barack Obama. December 2nd, 2014 in Bethesda, Maryland. President Barack Obama mentions during his speech:

“There may and likely will come a time we have an airborne disease that is deadly. And in order for us to deal with that effectively, we have to put in place an infrastructure- not just here at home, but globally- that allows us to see it quickly, isolate it quickly, and respond to it quickly, so that if a new strain of flu-like the Spanish flu crops up five years from now or a decade from now, we’ve made the necessary investment and we’re able to catch it.”

Due to our lack of preparation for COVID-19, many have been impacted negatively and this includes low-income families, healthcare/essential workers, business owners and students. Many students are struggling to cope with the effects of the pandemic. Students have been abruptly switched from physical classes to online classes and forced to leave schools. Online classes have resulted in lack of motivation. Students aren’t adjusting to the sudden change, one reason being, they aren’t in a work environment. Many students are working from their bedrooms, a warm sleepy setting, with no classmates nor teachers to encourage them.

The excitement was taken out of learning for the kinesthetic and intrapersonal learners. These types of hands-on and social learners are having a hard time tackling assignments and understanding the new material given. In addition to lack of motivation, teachers are assigning boatloads of work with only a short amount of turnaround time. This is enough to make a student who already lacks drive and motivation to give up.

 

Broken Homes

In many ways, college is an escape from reality for some students experiencing hardships at home. Some college students return home to unfortunate circumstances. Students who come from broken homes are dreading this adaptation of not only returning home early but quarantining with their family members. Some are experiencing abuse at home, which can come in many forms ranging from mental-emotional abuse to physical abuse.

In many ways on-campus housing, which has been revoked for many, was their “escape”. Along with the students with no home who count on college housing as their shelter. Where are they supposed to go? What about students who came from across the country whose families can’t afford for them to come back at the moment because they’ve been laid off? What about the foreign students? Reality has sunk in for these students with nowhere to turn as well as those who aren’t in an ideal housing situation.

 

Athletes Last Chance = Gone

Student-Athletes everywhere are disappointed that their season has come to an end so soon and senior student-athletes feel as though they were robbed from their final chance to prove themselves/make a comeback. The saying “play every game like it’s your last” is haunting them. For some, they may never be able to play the sport they played in high school again on a collegiate level. Fortunately, the NCAA has voted to allow schools to provide spring-sport student-athletes an additional season of competition and extension of their period of eligibility. 

Keep students in your prayers, for some they are at their lowest. They are being forced to adapt to the sudden change from physical to online learning, experiencing a lack of motivation, returning to broken homes/having nowhere to turn to.  Not to mention, the sad truth of coping with losing family members and writing a ten-page paper all in the same breath. Students learn not to take school for granted, all it took was our choice of furthering our education being revoked/altered. There will be something great to come out of this and there will be solutions offered to students and anyone else affected. 

 

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Nia Ross

Nia Ross is a junior at Virginia Union University, majoring in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. Ross has contributed to programs such as, PBS Production U as a Videographer and Editor and the media organization at Norfolk State University, National Broadcasting Society Alpha Epsilon Rho. Since then, Nia has developed her own businesses. One, “Shot By Miss Nini Michelle” where she provides photography, videography and editing services, and the other, ”Nini Michelle Cosmetics”, where she distributes makeup and beauty products. Nia's purpose with her businesses are to enhance and inspire the expression of beauty and confidence within individuals.

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