Life of a College Student During The Covid-19 Pandemic

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Life of a College Student During The Covid-19 Pandemic

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My Story begins in Newberry, South Carolina, in March of 2020. During this time, I was a sophomore at Newberry College. Newberry is small town with very little to do. So, three of my friends and I plan to drive to Charleston, South Carolina, for the weekend. Our plans were to hang out at a beach all day then go have dinner with my friend’s parents. Unfortunately, this plan got cut short after receiving an email from the school around 3pm. The email stated that students have to leave campus within 2 days. We were all shocked by this news. Many of the students from the college are from out of state or from another country entirely. I am from Florida originally, so I have to figure out how to get home with all my stuff in two days. Fortunately for me and my friend, who is from the same town, my parents came to pick us up the second day.
At this point in the pandemic, our classes either were canceled or finished online. Most teacher would just let the students pass not to put pressure on the students or themselves. During the summer, I was trying to figure out what was going on at my college, what was their plan on keeping students safe? are classes online? Where are we going to get our food if the cafeteria is closed? Ect. The college would provide little to no information on what their plans were and they were going to charge students full price for worse conditions in housing and in class. I eventually transferred to Florida Gulf Coast University; I did this for many it was cheaper, closer to home, had better education and they provided an actually plan for COVID-19.
That following December, two of my friends and I contracted Covid-19. I believe we got when we went out to lunch together. Luckily, this was during our winter break, so I was not on campus and did not infect anyone else. The interesting part is how the virus effected all three of us differently, my first friend had no symptoms, the second only lost his smell and taste, and I had the rest. I had an extreme fever, soar throat, one of the worst head aches ever, bad fatigue, and my body was really soar. I quarantined for two weeks and got tested to know I was not contagious anymore.
Overall, the Covid-19 virus forced a large number of students to transfer colleges or drop out and move in with their parents. Many schools, foundations, workplaces, and establishments did not have a plan or idea on how to handle the virus. Many people were let go from their jobs and are unemployed and this caused some local businesses to go under too. The most difficult this with the virus was the lack of information about it. Some people had symptoms and others did not. The information we were receiving was different from other sources. We could not trust our own government on what information to keep us safe.

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This item was submitted on February 24, 2021 by Jacob Stanbro using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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