This Pandemic is hitting everyone very hard. Our lives have changed drastically in ways we never could've expected, in some positive ways, but with a positive there is always a negative. Here are 6 of the biggest impacts the pandemic is having on college students around the country.
We were left out of the Stimulus Package
Not all college students, but many who are claimed by their parents as dependents were overlooked when the first stimulus package came out (I say first because there may eventually be another). Of course this drew controversy because many people argued "well they are dependent so their parents provide for them," that is not always true. Many college students who recieve financial aid are claimed as dependents because that is what FAFSA recommends, first generation students like myself, didn't know about other options (to get out of being claimed as a dependent) until it was too late.
Many of us can't get out of our leases
Before you say it, yes, we knew we signed a lease and were responsible for rent. However, many apartment complexes around Bellingham, WA are refusing to even lower rent. Many of us moved back home to be with family but are still paying rent at our apartments. One way to get out of rent is to find someone to take over, but in college towns like Bellingham, the majority of students left town due to classes being online.
Some students have had a great time with online classes this quarter/semester. Others, have had to struggle with larger class loads due to professors assuming the "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order is allowing for students to have more time to do school work unfortunately, this is not always the case and this has added stress for students. This mode of teaching/learning has also prevented many from learning effectively from classes they are paying so much money for.
Degrees and graduations
There is so much uncertainty for students for graduation and finishing their programs. Many universities are planning on virtual ceremonies, but for first generation students, and immigrants, this is still very disappointing. This situation is kind of a lose-lose because virtual isn't the same experience, but on the other hand, post-poning a graduation would leave many out because for most graduates it will not be feasible to return to their college town after having moved away post-graduation.
College life can be lonely enough as it is, and usually our friends can be a great support system to get us through college because they are also likely going through, or have gone through the same struggles. With the lockdowns, we lose our ability to hangout with each other to pass time, or to study together.
So many students were uprooted with less than 48 hour notice that they needed to lecae the dorms ASAP. Of course many students have been allowed to return to the dorms but when this all began that was a very quick decision that needed to be made on the drop of a dime. Most universities had no problem refunding students for their housing, but for some colleges that was unfortunately not the case.
This is not a competition of who has it worse right now. We are all struggling in our own ways, but knowing each others struggles can help us understand each other and be more sympathetic to one another so we can all co-exist in this Pandemic.