A College Student During The Pandemic


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A College Student During The Pandemic

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For my primary source, I selected an essay that was written by me my first semester in my Psychology class. I don’t exactly know the date it was made or submitted, there were question we were supposed to respond in our own way but it’s not able to be provided anymore. But we wrote it as a final in order to express the way we felt during the pandemic, also to see how our mental and our physical changes during this rough time. My professor which was called Dr. Marjorie wanted to know everyone’s story in our own words and the different perspectives that came from the students, which she enjoyed doing.

I lived in New York the area of the country hardest hit by the first wave of the pandemic. I was afraid when the outbreak got worse day by day, watching how this changed every human being because no one was prepared for all this chaos that was happening. I didn’t know on March 10 that this outbreak was on campus which is why we couldn’t come back until further notice to protect us from contracting COVID. Seeing the news and watching the death tolls go up by the hour of the amount of people dying in the hospitals and others contracting the virus was horrifying and sad to watch. That’s all they gave on the news which made me paranoid and decided to stop watching it during the entire quarantine. The way I saw how the streets were empty, New York wasn’t the same anymore it looked very dull and sad as if it was the end of the world not seeing anyone outside walking or any cars either. Everything was limited especially in the supermarkets having a limit capacity of people in it, the long lines were unbearable. Not being able to go out being of how paranoid I was being around people, I lasted about 1 month and 3 days home without going out only when it was necessary to go out.

I selected this important source because I want historians of the future to understand my situation as a college student living through this pandemic. Having to go from classes in person to virtual classes in a snap of a finger that’s when my frustration started, not being able to understand anything without seeing the professor to explain it to me. I had to do everything on my own without anyone’s help. Stressing me out completely, which caused drastic changes to me during quarantine. My appetite wasn’t at its best having to do so much work at a time with all my classes especially being a full time student wasn’t easy for me because I never took breaks only when I was called to eat. My body started to fail on me feeling weak, tired, and constant headaches. That’s when it all went downhill my anxiety started to crawl up on me, I didn’t know how to control it anymore because coping with it was difficult having all of these constant breakdowns, feeling tight to the chest and shaking as if I was nervous. I’ll have all that through the stress and overthinking it caused because I didn’t want to feel like a failure. Putting pressure on myself caused lots of harm which had consequences to it later on. Then I started to lose weight, not being able to wake up the same anymore as if I had no energy to do anything throughout the day. I was afraid of having a panic/anxiety attack which were the worse. I endured depression along the way as well, I started to get sick out of nowhere without having anything. The pandemic really messed me up mentally.
Student at BCC.

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personal essay

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Edith Oleaga
Reaction Paper
Dr. Marjorie Garrido
May 18, 2020

The pandemic has been very eye opening for me, seeing how it has spread so quickly and how many people have been passing away due to this virus. It's very heart-breaking seeing people suffering through this, especially the elderly. Seeing people losing their jobs and many stores and companies closing, going outside and having to see people with masks and gloves everywhere trying to be cautious with this situation, which is scary. I’ve had days where it's hard for me to get up from bed, now it’s an everyday thing not being able to brush my hair or pay any mind to it and always having moods where I’m feeling down one minute then the next feeling happy or lonely. Having to stay in a room all day makes me overthink a lot and it's affecting me emotionally. There was a time I didn’t leave my house for about a month because of my anxiety of going outside being in places that were crowded with people even if we wore masks, I still felt paranoid. My appetite has changed for me during this situation. I haven’t been feeding myself right, waking up late and feeling like my body has been run over by a train. I'm constantly feeling very tired and having sleepless nights causing me to have severe headaches or dizziness that would last for days. I’ve been good financially, me and my family haven't had any problems with money we are all set for now during this situation.
My social distance has been going well. I haven’t been going outside a lot, only if its necessary for me to go out. Lately I haven’t been on social media because I decided to deactivate it, I only contact family or some friends through messaging because I tend to have this feeling of not wanting to talk to anyone and having to change my phone number for the first time. This situation has also affected my schooling, because I wasn’t prepared to go online for all my classes which is all new to me because it's stressful, aggravating, and very overwhelming to worry about five classes at a time trying to give in assignments back to back everyday. My education hasn’t changed a bit since the professors tend to try their best to teach us what we need to know through the semester even when this situation is still going on, they provide us with all the information we need based on assignments, exams, and finals. I haven’t tried to stay emotionally balanced during the pandemic, because I get stressed out all the time and on top of that I’m worrying too much about certain things that crosses my mind. Depression is one of the main things that gets to me easily because there are times where I feel hopeless, irritated, and have the urge to isolate myself from everyone in my household. I try to talk about it but it's difficult for me to break that wall of communication with others because I get that feeling that no one will understand me. Nothing helps me cope with the changes during this pandemic. I've felt lonely many times during this situation. I try to cope by spending time with my parents and siblings whenever that lonely feeling hits me, or I try to just focus on my breathing while listening to calm music.
The hardest part of moving everything online is adapting to it, not being able to see my family or friends. Everything has to be virtually which is very dismal. I want to be able to see them but it’s impossible because of the virus but I do want them to stay safe at home, we will hopefully overcome all this and be reunited again. I do engage myself by binge watching netflix, listening to music, or keeping myself busy with chores around the house gives me lots of energy. There is a series that gives me comfort when I watch it was very interesting, it's called “Into The Night.” It caught my eye because it's based on how there is a plane full of passengers traveling through the night trying to escape from getting killed, due to the sun killing everything in its path. What forces me to be online alot is when my fellow classmate doesn’t know how to work a college website called “starfish”, I have to be able to do it myself showing them how the website works and what it's for. It does frustrate me because they do show and tell us this information in college as soon as we enter the semester, but my classmate tends to not listen in any of the class or check emails. But as a good friend I proceed to help with any confusions or frustrations. I experienced a lot of negative things during this situation, but overall it did have something positive come out of it. It showed me how to be able to do assignments on my own without having to be in class with the professor, also it will prepare me for the future whenever we go through a tough situation and have to switch to online classes. I'll definitely be ready for it.

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This item was submitted on May 17, 2021 by [anonymous user] using the form “Share your story- Bronx” on the site “Bronx Community College New York”:

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