College and Corona

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Mallory Smith

In colleges, football games are a main experience to have during the few years there; what if that was all taken away in the blink of an eye? (Photo courtesy of Mallory Smith)

In the world of 18 to 22 year-olds, college is a big part of their lives. Students are having their first taste of freedom by living by themselves and making decisions on their own but it’s being taken away.  Coronavirus has been spreading through the US for 4+ weeks. This spread has taken college students from classrooms, libraries, and jobs to online school, no place to study and unemployed. These adults are just beginning to understand how to be adults, but the pandemic has created a learning curve. 

The first signs of the coronavirus, we first believed would be a breeze. Taking a few weeks of school then returning would give us a break we all felt we needed. While in the beginning, everyone thought it would be a good time to cut loose and spend time with friends, the virus became much more serious. The short break turned into an extension, and it has kept us in the house. Our schools have been turned to an online format. 

“The classes that are discussion-based are a lot more difficult because I am not able to discuss topics with my peers,” said Clemson junior Brittany Beems.

College classes have been moved to an online format that has changed a lot of the course work. For students in hands-on classes like biology, architecture, nursing, and many other additional majors, they have gotten much more difficult and work has become way more confusing than an in-class format would have been. These classes have been changed to using Zoom, interactive online assignments, and lots of reading. At Clemson, they have a 70/30 rule; 30% learned in class and 70% learned by reading yourself. This has quickly changed to nearly 100% learned by the student’s self. Many colleges are making the decision to let the student pick Pass/Fail grading, meaning that their scores will not affect their GPA and will just pass the class. These measures have been taken to help these students as much as possible at this time. 

“As a manager of Smoothie King of Clemson, I have lost half of my staff due to [the] coronavirus,” said Samantha Long.

Even though some students are being allowed to keep their jobs, many are not. Some staff members are having to stay home due to precautionary reasons and others have been fully laid off. The unemployment rate has currently been raised from 3.5% to 14.7% in the past few months, and many of these unemployment applications are from college kids that have small business and food industry jobs. 

“I’m for sure living on a budget and the kindness of my family and friends,” said nurse Jordan Kuhnx.

Students now are having to base their lives off of lost time at work. Whatever leftover money or small amounts they are making from work is what they are living off of. For Kuhnx, she was previously in Asia on a mission trip and was sent home with no money to live off of. She was planning on being in Asia for a few months, so she planned to get a job but currently can’t. This is forcing her to be very careful with her money and it makes shopping harder. 

“Without money and the fear of getting sick, I really have chosen not to go grocery shopping yet,” added Beems.

For students that have lost their jobs or are short on money, shopping has become much more difficult. Essential easy items such as ramen, frozen foods, and many more are out of stock. Not even toilet paper is available. These small items being sold out has been difficult for some college kids to cook their meals. 

Kids of college-age are being highly affected currently by the coronavirus because the essential things are being taken from stores as people stock up. It makes life difficult especially since lots of their jobs have been taken or their hours have been cut. College kids in this pandemic are often taking the most financial hits even though they are healthy. It is important to remember that everyone is facing lots of difficulty during this time and to support your local businesses.