Vulnerable, Sad, and Restless

By Ana
Student, South Mountain Community College

Our lives changed dramatically from one day to another. The college experience changed all of the sudden and drastically due to Covid-19. Schools started closing and our worrisome side effects started to take over. Among other variables, housing, travel, and income may have been impacted by the pandemic at either the student or household level. In my case my mental heal was disturbed due to self-quarantine, transferring to online classes for my household, and going back to work created fear of the uncertainty.

This pandemic has impacted everyone in some way or another. In my personal experience my mental health felt compromised due to self-quarantine. I had to be isolated from all of my family because I had severe symptoms of flu, but my doctor did not know if I was positive for Covid-19. The impact of self-quarantine began to take a toll on me and created a lot of anxiety in my persona. Not being able to be around y family made me feel very vulnerable, sad, and restless, but I knew I had to comply with the doctors orders to protect my family. Going from a regular schedule to confinement in my room altered my emotions and my mental status, but I was fortunate to have the support of my family and I managed to pull through the challenging time. Unfortunately other students do not have the support through this difficult times and Covid-19 could severely complicate school efforts to provide support to students experiencing the increase of mental distress.\

Transitioning to online classes created stress in my household because I was also juggling my child’s educational needs as well as my own.  When physical classes got cancelled due to the pandemic I got very concerned. Since I started attending to the community college, I had always taken in person classes and because I’m not a virtual learner. Transferring to online classes was very challenging for me and created confusion as well. For example, when the pandemic initiated I was taking a Spanish class and my worst fears came true. Even though I dominate the language, I was struggling to keep up with the class due to the professor’s inconstancies in the material for the class. The professor made everything harder for all of the students and added stress for all of us.

I currently work as a Medial Assistant and going back to work was worrisome for me. Despite the reopening America and resuming some normal economic acidity, corona virus is still spreading widely and my biggest fear was taking home with me and putting my family at risk. For many workers like me the question was whether or not go back to work would feel like an impossible decision. If I refused to return to work, I would lose my benefits and that would put my family in a hard situation as well. The only thing that we can do is comply with OSHA requirements to keep all of us safe.

Written: Summer 2020

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