As Covid-19 cases soar and college enrollment diminishes. It is becoming increasingly harder to ignore the impact the pandemic has had on working students.
It is important to students and faculty alike for school to resume to normal as soon as possible. Unfortunately, for the time being the pandemic is here to stay. Stress is at an all time high. And students are being made to choose between work and school everyday.
The pandemic had just sped up the process of a decision that goes through many students minds: does this warrant a gap semester/year?
For ELAC student, Esmeralda Martinez this was a question that went through her mind after job loss and being grief stricken.
With no routine, it has become harder for many students to keep up the same motivation they had while attending college in person. But we stay home because we care.
A fading social life, diminishing motivation, and stressful home life are affecting students financially, as well as emotionally. Many students have lost loved ones, jobs, and other opportunities due to the pandemic.
Unemployment in particular has added a huge financial burden on many students. For working students having to choose between work and school is not a new struggle. However, Covid-19 has made the effects of choosing school over work have heavier consequences.
To add to the struggles of unemployed students who are trying to find jobs, they are doing so without a regular school schedule which will make the transition from online to in person classes all the more harder. Like any student with a job knows, students might be discouraged to make the hard decision to choose school in the end.
While some students have admitted considering gap semesters/years due to the pandemic others find online classes to be more convenient.
ELAC student, Angela Farias, gives us a different perspective. She has deemed the situation to be more beneficial to her schedule. She once worked long shifts but since Covid-19 has affected business she works less hours. This allowed her to fit in more classes this semester.
She admits she used to be more focused on work than school and the pandemic has helped in shifting her focus back to school.
She does mention that her family is very supportive of her college pursuits, support that seems to go a long way.
Another student gravely affected by the pandemic, who chose to remain anonymous, has taken a gap year and does not plan to go back to college until after the situation with the pandemic has resolved itself. She mentions she felt the quality of online classes does not compare to that of in person classes.
She had trouble finding a quiet place to study everyday at home and since businesses were closed, her routine stop at Starbucks to do homework was no longer an option.
In aims to go through with the online courses for the Fall 2020 she decided to find a room to rent. She had two jobs and classes were going great until she realized she was not going to be able to maintain this routine forever and ended up choosing to drop her classes and focus on work for the time being.
Work versus school is a topic growing in popularity among ELAC students. We have to remember our livelihoods are at stake when we, as students choose work over school.