One ASU Student's Transition



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One ASU Student's Transition

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A student's account of their transition to online school

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My name is _____________________ and I am from Watts, Los Angeles, California. Two years ago I moved to Tucson and decided to go to Arizona State University. My father committed suicide and my sister has an undiagnosed illness, with the emotional state of my mother and the severe condition of my sister’s health, I figured it would be best for me to stay in the state. It is my first year of college and I am majoring in Computer Systems Engineering with a minor in Digital Culture, so as one could imagine, I have a heavy course load. I did well with my transition to college. I joined clubs, did community service, made lots of friends, but most importantly, I learned to manage my time very well. I began to plan my day from the hour I woke up, all the way until the hour I went to bed. I began to log the amount of homework I did and typically did 20-30 hours of homework per week. I was taking 18 credits and had straight A’s in all of my classes and was so excited to get back to my routine after spring break. When the news first broke that we would not have in-person classes, they told us it would only be for a week so I spent three days in Tucson and decided to go back to Tempe anyway since I had my midterms coming up. There was no way I'd be able to focus on my schoolwork at home and I had a nice desk in my dorm along with a meal plan. It seemed as if it would work out just fine. Then online classes got pushed another week, until it was then extended for the rest of the semester. Managing my time and classes was beginning to get difficult. My professors began giving the same amount of work, if not more. Some decided to make exams harder since they assumed that people would cheat. All of my professors did not give the pass/fail option, nor did they curve any grades. They said we have all of the resources that we needed and that we have no excuses. My mom kept begging me to go back to Tucson but I was worried I may be carrying the virus and I did not want to give it to my sister, also I did not have a room or bed in Tucson. My mom picked me up anyway not long after and I had to move out of my beloved dorm. I told my friends from out of state that if anything crazy were to happen, they were welcome to stay at my place. I do not have a room at my mom’s apartment. I had to bring out an old mattress from the shack and I share a room with my mom now. Professors began to send emails every hour with new assignments, new announcements, and new worries. I began to freak out because it has been so hard to concentrate at home. There is not a single quiet room and the only other place that I could live in has no Wi-Fi. The course load that I was once successfully managing became too much for me and I had to make the decision to drop a course that is very important for my major. One of my teams has been having a hard time because our assignment is to build a robot, but we cannot physically build or program it together. Another team has a very worried teammate because her family is all the way in India and she cannot go home. One of my good friends is failing all of his classes and so many others have been dropping out completely. Everyday I get a panic attack thinking about my classes in addition to being on the verge of dropping out every second. Only less than 3% of the people from Watts go to college, I worked hard to get here and earned as many scholarships as I possibly could. I remained resilient because college was my dream, but my college has been failing us. They want us to continue taking classes for the same cost, they only care about the money. I have been taking care of my family since I got back to Tucson. I cook, clean, and try my best to manage my time for my classes and work. My mom has been sick with chest pains and a dry cough. I have been so very nervous about my mother’s health, yet, I have to continue with my schoolwork. I cannot risk dropping out because my goal is to get my family out of poverty and I am afraid I will not have the same scholarship opportunities if I decide to return. My great- grandma keeps getting pneumonia and she says she knows the virus will be the end of her. My sister’s symptoms have been getting worse, she came to me with a bloody nose and blood shot eyes. The fright in her eyes hurts my soul and I do not know what I can do to help her. I have already lost my dad, and every night I have been wondering if I’ll lose my mom next. If my little sister catches the virus, I know I will lose her and it breaks my heart every second. Yet, I still need to do my schoolwork with no excuses and no extensions. I just keep praying every night that my family and loved ones do not catch the virus. Here are pictures of pages from my bullet journal. In February I had the most fun and productive month, and I had big hopes for March as I even added a section for the hours of the day. Then I neglected my journal, decided to get my life back on track, then I moved, lost my markers, and now, I have nothing coming up but assignment due dates. I cannot wait for this semester to be over and I truly hope that things will be better by August. As of now, there have been no deaths in my family, thank God, but only time will tell how truly ruthless COVID-19 is.

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