The COVID-19 pandemic is not slowing down, the spread is not stopping, and quite frankly, the students are exhausted.
When COVID-19 hit campuses in March 2020, students all over the nation were abruptly forced to leave their campuses and head home. We were all forced to learn how to juggle school, a global pandemic, and home life at the same time. When the Fall came and we returned to campus, each student took on a workload that was seemingly larger than any previous year. This included a lot of work for a shorter semester, and no breaks. Online learning has been treated as if it’s “easier,” or something that we have a handle on. We do not.
We are tired. A vast majority of students have been stuck inside through this pandemic. This has resulted in stress on our minds and bodies, causing fatigue, and breakdowns. Please stop accusing all of us for the few that have caused a spread of COVID. No, we have not adjusted, we’re just trying to do our best to make it work. This “new normal” still feels nothing like “normal”. On top of this we are reminded daily how faculty jobs will be lost, and others will be affected if we do not stay on campus. I am asking that the students be cut some slack.
Our wellbeing is tired. Getting out of bed each day is hard, going to sleep is even harder as our projects pile up day after day. We stare at screens all day long and after zoom class ends, it is hard to sit there even longer to complete homework. We cannot get fresh air as it is often cold and dreary, and we do not have access to the facilities for activity to relieve some of this stress. We have toughened up, and we are not asking to be given an easy way out, but please understand that we are far from thriving in the environment we have been placed in. We cannot wait to get out.
Many of us do not leave campus as we do not have the means to do so, nor do we have the time. But on campus the food services offered are limited, facilities are closed, and academically, there is a lack of tutoring for those who are struggling. Our interaction with others is so minimal that we do not meet new people, we do not make new friends.
Just this semester alone, which we are just shy of a month into, I have heard from multiple students; “I have never felt more tired” and “I do not know how to make myself feel motivated right now.” Because of these feelings we have, our work is affected, and this will ultimately affect our grades. We are not faulting you either. No one can fix what has happened, this pandemic is a struggle for all of us every day, it challenges us mentally, physically, and emotionally, But I assure you the majority of us are doing our absolute best.
This is not a blame game, we are not blaming you, so please stop blaming us.
By Krystina Gauer