COVID-19 Changes the Game for Incoming College Students

COVID-19

In the year 2020, COVID-19 has become a catalyst for confusion, race riots, and political failures.

Is certainly wasn’t where you thought we were going to be three years ago. With over thousands of people in hospitals due to a widespread virus, while government officials seem to be more worried about Trump’s next Presidential campaign than making the time easier for the citizens that can’t afford to go to the hospital, daily life has dulled down.

Now with the resurge of COVID -19 numbers as places reopen across the country the future of college life is taking a hit.

If you think children are excited by this unexpected “break” from school then you’ll be sorely mistaken. Many senior high schoolers have been in dismay because of the fact that many of what was supposed to be “once in a lifetime” milestones, like grad night or prom, will be reduced to a chatroom online. If that wasn’t enough college has become a questioning goal for graduating students. Some uncertain about attending college in the fall due to the COVID-19 running rampant throughout the summer, preventing social interaction – and by extension traditional learning.

Almost thousand of campuses have closed their gates to the visiting public and even future students. Only accessible through websites like Zoom where college students are limited in their interaction with the school and its students. Due to safety precautions for COVID-19, colleges are trying out new methods to get students the proper college education online without taking away top much of the contents of the course.

And as a recent high school grad myself, I know It really isn’t the same. When you talk with colleges through email and ask questions it takes like, two to three days to respond. Even then it’s still hard to get direct and personalized answers to my questions.

In The Wake of COVID-19, What are People Doing?

Others have contemplated taking a gap year. Not only because of the spreading coronavirus but more-so because no one wants to spend, whats supposed to be the most important years of our life, on an online class. Now that traditional classes have been cut off for this school year students don’t have the opportunity to connect with friends and have to contend with not being able to visit their potential colleges in person. And with next to all human contact being cut off it doesn’t help that despite all of our social distancing doesn’t seem to have slowed down even a little bit.

Students like me are going to pick the safe option. A school in the city that you didn’t originally pick because it was to close to home or simply didn’t have our major, or the dream option, a school out of state that we can’t even visit. We’re desperately trying to adapt to online learning and for some, it’s going well. But it is a totally different thing in regards to online college courses, especially for topics like art, pre-med, or other majors that usually include hands-on learning as a better approach to obtaining a degree.

Where mental health issues are concerned it’s surprising how many teens talk about going stir crazy and not just from boredom. Even though most places are beginning to open back up to the public it seems like their closing just as quickly. The second surge of the COVID-19 made its way through beaches, parks, and other public gatherings. People are trying to keep themselves inside as much as possible.

COVID-19 Is Changing Everything

It will not be too soon before the US calls another public emergency concerning COVID-19. And while that happens us college students are looking for the only bright side of going to college during COVID-19, for our college costs to be cut. Going to campus during a pandemic like this is frightening – even more so than when you just had to worry about roommates and being away from home.

College students will not have the options they had before. In the future their classes will be held online, some without having them interact in classes at all and only have to turn in homework. And while it may seem like that’s less work it does not help the students who are looking to go into careers that require “hands-on learning” rather than looking through a textbook. Now, for the students going into college this year when they graduate they’re going to woefully underprepared to find jobs, that are already lessened due to the pandemic. There will more likely be a drop in the employment rate while health issues and unemployment rates increase dramatically.

How Has COVID-19 Effected Jobs?

Students who had a job offer before the summer, whether it was an offer to work as a lifeguard or a counselor for a summer camp, will have to look for online opportunities. Fortunately for us, if you have lost a job due to COVID students are more likely to qualify for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. A federally funded program like this can help the full-time students stressing out about paying for tuition and books, but even then it is unclear how many students know about a program like this.

How To Stay Healthy During COVID-19 Pandemic

Your seeing fewer people and more health signs in places like stores, schools, and workplaces. And during this time it’s not only a first for students but also for the staff and employers trying to circumvent the epidemic while working. As the first epidemic of this century, we need to take great caution. Following the trend of previous virus outbreaks, the best way to stay safe is to:

  • Avoid Crowds, even after stores and beaches reopen.
  • Remember that people can carry the virus days before symptoms are shown
  • Wear masks whenever your outside (whether that’s at school, work, or shopping)
  • Do not let the virus prevent you from voting (options like online or mail-in voting is available)

It Is Important To Be Safe With COVID-19 Around

Now is more important than ever, it is important for citizens to take the outbreak and learn from it. That includes everything that happens during COVID-19  including the race riots and the government’s actions. The steps we take during COVID-19 when income and health rates are low will impact how our government is run in the future. We cant simply vote for someone other than Trump, we need to push everyone in connection to him and the corruption in America’s health, school, and employment system out of the office and become the better option.

The country as a whole also needs to realize that times like this should not be taken lightly. For such a contagious virus that can transmit from a single brush of skin, there are a worryingly amount of people attending public beaches, resorts, and other places that are surrounded by more than a hundred people.

“You see the footage of what happened this past weekend. And people are either naive to the influence of their actions, or they’re simply resigned to ignore it,” says Dr. Rochelle Walensky, chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“We know of the 50,000 cases this past day — a single day of this (holiday) weekend,” Walensky said. “If they’re young people, it could be 500 people who die from that. If they’re older people, it could be 7,500 people who die from that — just from a single day of infection.”

Written by: Brielle R. Buford

Edited by Sheena Robertson

Sources

The Nevada Independent: How we dealt with a pandemic – a century ago

The New York Times: Students May Qualify for Special Jobless Benefits

CNN: Doctors say the US is in a ‘free fall’ with coronavirus as 32 states struggle with higher rates of infection

Featured and Top Images Courtesy of risingthermals’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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