The losses COVID-19 dealt us, physically and spiritually

Photo courtesy of Daniel Spiess, Flickr.

No matter what, college acts as the stepping stone for teenagers to become young adults, discover themselves, meet new people and learn new things that may benefit them in their adult and professional futures.

Because of the pandemic, students are forced into the purgatory of online learning and the hardships that Zoom, Webex, Google Meet, and other professor-run services brought on. How are we supposed to learn confined to our bedrooms? According to the Department of Education’s data center, more than half of all college students had to weather the online storm.

Aside from the learning process, many college students also feel that the pandemic has taken even more than the typical college experience from them.

“It’s taken away my sense of comfort,” said Erin Auld, a junior psychology student. “Because of the pandemic, I feel that myself, as well as everybody else, cannot be content anymore because there’s always a chance that tomorrow brings something terrible. We don’t know what is expected anymore.”

Along with the mental strain it’s had on students, the pandemic took something else from people like junior business major Sebastian Pelaez. “I had really planned on traveling to places when everything had started to be shut down or restricted,” Pelaez said. “I had wanted to go to Miami, but the pandemic really made that difficult.”

Travel sanctions have become less strict since 2020, but student travel and study abroad programs require students to travel to highly populated places, which come with their own dangers.

From a personal perspective, COVID-19 has affected me as one would expect. I was forced to learn online like everyone else for two semesters as I earned my Associate’s degree at Brookdale Community College, as well as another semester at New Jersey City University early last year.

Like Pelaez, I too planned on traveling all over the United States, but found it difficult while worrying about possible exposure, my elderly grandfather at home and the quarantine period that follows. I have traveled since then, but not nearly as much as I would have liked.

COVID-19 had also affected me in my sports. Baseball and its rules at the amateur level were rebranded in order to work through the pandemic. Nonetheless, games were eventually canceled, and for almost an entire year, I was unable to play.

It is clear that college students have taken a massive hit from the pandemic. Whether it be school, sports, or travel, we’ve had to deal with ever changing restrictions.

There is hope, however, that college students and the rest of the world will fully suppress this virus into irrelevance. With patience and trust in the right scientific sources this college student thinks we can return to normalcy and take back what this pandemic has stolen from us.