In March, both of my on-campus jobs closed due to COVID-19. I worked at a daycare and a disability center. These jobs were more than just making extra money. The experience and relationships I made topped all the paychecks I got from both.
During my time at the disability center, I worked primarily as a lab assistant. I sat next to a student in class who needed accommodations, and would provide those supports, such as typing notes and entering responses with the clicker. There were days I chatted for a while before or after class with the students in the classes I was assigned to. It wasn't "just a job" to me. As a disabled student myself, I developed a closer connection with them.
At the daycare, I was a student worker who assisted full-time teachers and supervised children during recess and in classrooms. This consisted of talking to and playing with kiddos, helping them rest, reading any book they wanted to them, and even showing pictures of random dogs I met. A couple days ago, I texted my boss asking about the daycare's plans to re-open. Unfortunately, I received the news that I cannot return because I am longer a student in college.
The news was a true but devastating reminder that my time at Missouri State was over. I could no longer return to either job.
I have since accepted a summer job offer and I'm beyond stoked for it. Don't get me wrong. But there's no worse feeling than to not say goodbye to the students at both jobs I was at.
Please be thankful if you get to return to the job you had before COVID-19. Be grateful if you are receiving money from either unemployment or if your job continues to pay their employees. Be thankful if you have since returned to work and get to see all of your coworkers and anyone else at your job. Not everyone gets their job back. I'm grateful to have found a summer job when I did. But it doesn't mean I won't grieve the sudden loss of my on-campus jobs.
It’s devastating to not return to my campus jobs, but at least my last year as a Bear was worth while.