Photo by Kat Parra
A year with great promise and goals has taken a drastic turn of events ever since the COVID-19 virus forced the world to step out of their normal routines and undergo quarantine. All around, the virus has affected much more than our health; it has infiltrated our lives and turned them upside down.
Students around the world have been forced to change their routines. For CSUSM students, many have returned to their families, others found homes elsewhere. With the quarantine in place, jobs have been shut down. A recent post was created on Facebook asking CSUSM students to reveal ways in which the virus has affected them. All around were devastating comments from the loss of a job to isolation. Countless students are feel- ing deprived of their energy and will to learn, information is becoming more difficult to be retained, many feel alone and are longing for that physical human connection.
That lack of physical connection seems to be the hard- est transition for students when it comes to school.
Not all students can focus on a remote online system, some are still adjusting. Many who used the campus as an escape from their problems now rely on technology to block out what is occur- ring in the world. Ultimately, some students are struggling with making an effort and staying focused. Though it seems, despite the changes, students are finding ways to regain their focus by leaving their cellphones in another room during class time or creating lists of tasks.
However, students are feel- ing lost and even discouraged. Many of the events they were looking forward to this semester have been canceled, many students have no job, graduation has been postponed; it can be overwhelming.
As for professors, their jobs are much more difficult and demanding. Not only has the pandemic affected their personal lives, but their careers. Professors have to recreate the entire higher education for students to pass the class yet learn the material. They have to undergo ways to transfer assignments, exams, and lectures online and still hold classes.
According to CSUSM professor Luke Bisagna, “there is no substitution for being physically together- coworkers or students in a classroom.” He explains that this cannot be replaced with virtual communication. With Zoom and all the other software, it is just not the same as a “physical energetic presence.” There is just something very special about this form of practice. Just like him, many professors miss their coworkers, routines, and classrooms full of eager students interacting with one another.
Thankfully, the pandemic has had some positive effects amongst students allowing them to spend more time with their loved ones. It has even allowed some students to develop and explore hobbies. It has affected students by forcing them to be more responsible when it comes to their education, whether they attend that morning lecture on Zoom or if they choose to complete that assignment. In the end, it all depends on how a person perceives the effect of COVID-19.
Everybody is dealing with difficulties but one thing remains the same: this pandemic has affected us all, whether it was positively or negatively, it has affected us.