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How are college students dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic?
Written by Amy Park | Published. 2021.10.30 10:48 | Count : 249

 

 

The coronavirus has changed everyone’s lives since 2020, ages ranging from toddlers to elders. Although this was a big significant change for everyone, this was especially a huge transition for college students. They built their knowledge from a very young age and received their high school diploma to get into a college. College is where they dream of meeting new friends, trying internships, and even getting their first jobs to earn money. Yet, this all crashed when the COVID-19 pandemic occurred. While we are all aware of the changes that college students had to go through, do we really know their feelings towards the change and how it affects them? To investigate this, I interviewed four college students, Semin Park and Hyein Ra, both attending Seoul National University. Also, Jamie Park and Arnold Han, who are attending college in the United States. 

 

{Screenshot of the interview with Semin Park (video call); photo credit: Amy Park}

 

{Screenshot of the interview with Hyein Ra (video call); photo credit: Amy Park}

 

 

First of all, for Semin Park and Hyein Ra, they felt that COVID-19 situation was very crucial for their college life. They both stressed the importance of wearing masks and sanitizing hands when entering a new environment. “I always had an extra pair of masks in my bag”, said Semin Park, who never used masks before COVID-19. In addition, they both claimed that school went virtual and interactions between professors and friends were banned. Hyein Ra, who never had an on campus learning in college stated, “I always dreamed of studying at the school library and playing with my friends on campus, yet I could not do any of these”. Furthermore, Semin Park spoke that even going outside was difficult because of serious COVID-19 cases. Usually, she stayed home watching Netflix rather than going on vacations or playing with friends. Lastly, finding part time jobs and internships were tough, which was especially crucial for Semin Park in 2020 when she was in sophmore year. “I believe there are mainly two reasons for this situation: there are not as many customers as before and companies are also facing difficulties” Semin Park Stated. Anyhow, she mentioned that COVID-19 gave her less opportunities to find what she is really interested in and have opportunities. 

 

{Screenshot of the interview with Jamie Park; photo credit: Amy Park}

 

{Screenshot of the interview with Arnold Han; photo credit: Amy Park}

 

Now, I interviewed Jamie Park and Arnold Han, both enrolled in American universities. As they both did college applications during COVID-19 and had their first year of college in Korea, which they had both similar and different perspectives from Semin Park and Hyein Ra. The biggest challenge that they both claimed was virtual school, which they had to stay up all night and sleep during the day. “My sleep schedule was terrible!” Jamie Park said, complaining. Some days, she was only able to stay up for two hours because of her schedules. In addition, Arnold Han added that online school disrupted his health as well. Because he had to stay up at night in a chair, his back hurted and there was not much time to exercise. Yet, he did say that there were some advantages to this. First, he had more time to work on his assignments without transportation time. Also, tests were held virtually, which means he was able to take them in a comfortable environment. Jamie Park also mentioned that she liked the fact that she was able to stay longer with her high school friends. There was no need to stress about social relationships at least in her freshman year. When they both went back to America in 2021, they noticed that America seemed less strict about masks. “Some students did not even wear masks!” Jamie said. 

 

This interview evidently gave some various perspectives of college students and how it impacted them. Although all four college students felt the pros and cons of COVID-19, they agreed that COVID-19 mostly had a distressing effect such as irregular sleep schedules and harsh COVID-19 procedures. Until then, they encourage students to stay on task at work and maintain their health. 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
Amy Park

Grade 11

Seoul Foreign School

 

Amy Park  hsr@dherald.com

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