One of the main components for success as a college student is planning ahead. I’ve had a detailed four-year plan since my freshman year, which clearly outlined all the courses I’d take, organizations I would like to join and ideas of jobs I’d like to have. At the beginning of every fall semester, I would create a list of all the internships I was planning on applying to attend the next summer. My friends and I planned months ahead for any possible trips and plans for breaks. I believe having all my plans and ideas for the near future uprooted and thrown into uncertainty has been one of the biggest difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic. From being told we would be gone from campus for a week which actually turned into the rest of the semester, to watching internship after internship that I spent many hours working hard on the applications, essays and hounding my professors for recommendation letters, cancel their programs. The feeling that everything I had planned for are no longer certain and won’t be back on track or return to “normal” anytime soon has been overwhelming.
I also feel like this pandemic has also forced us to grow up. Although college students definitely have a multitude of issues and difficulties, we must also understand that we are privileged to attend these institutions whose main goal is to ensure our success and comfortability while our studies are our main focus. Even though we are aware of the many problems of the world, it is really easy and comforting to just regress into that bubble of “college life”, which most people do not have the opportunity to do. However, this pandemic has made it quite obvious that all of that can be taken away from us quickly, and that the comfort of being in that bubble does not last forever and does not exist after graduation. COVID-19 has shown us the type of world we are preparing to transition into, a world of corruption, inequality and regression instead of progression. I’ve noticed an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness and pessimism among my peers which is completely valid. I hope we are all resilient enough to work through all of this and be the change that the world so desperately needs.