Over the past year, everyone has been struggling to maintain their daily lives. Life hasn’t been easy for everyone since COVID-19 due to social distancing affecting everyone in so many different ways. David Land, OM graduate and a freshman at Howard Community College, is one person who has been thrown into this difficult situation.
His senior year at Oakland Mills didn’t end the way he hoped it would. “At first, I thought it was going to be an extended spring break. I missed out on many senior activities, such as prom and senior night.” Holding on to hope, Land only found himself disappointed every time another event was canceled. In the end, he was never able to say an official goodbye to teachers and friends. This fact made it hard for Land to move on to college since he never received closure with the people he grew up with for all of his life.
Land wants a writing-centered career, so he decided to go to college to further his education. He may not have a solid plan quite yet, but he does hope to work for a newspaper. This is something Land has been interested in for a while now. For more experience, he decided to take journalism in high school, where he wrote for our school paper. College can offer many different experiences to help a person figure out what he or she wants for the future, and Land is hopeful that HCC will help guide his plans about what to do after. However, motivation doesn’t come easy to everyone. Land finds it hard to stick to a strict schedule because of his classes and work.
Because of this, his transition to college hasn’t been easy. Since classes are virtual, he hasn’t been able to see his classmates or professor in person, so it’s hard for him to bond with anyone. He comments, “Overall, virtual classes have negatively affected my college experience because I am unable to connect with my college peers or professors.” He is unable to fully interact with anyone since he only takes classes twice a week for two hours. Unfortunately, this means he hasn’t been able to communicate with classmates or his professors as often as he’d like.
Not only did virtual class make him feel disconnected, but he found himself disappointed again. When Land started college, he didn’t feel much of a difference in his classes from his time at Oakland Mills. “I thought it was going to be bigger than it was; however, it feels like I’m still in high school.” The only difference was that he attends classes less and the prices are much higher. He feels like he hasn’t done a whole lot of intensive stuff, it’s only busy work and tests.
In the end, Land can only hope that he might go on campus next year, the vaccines are currently being distributed, which might help him go back one day soon. However, if the vaccine isn’t as effective, taking a gap year might be an option Land may explore. This is because it’s hard to adjust to classes. Overall, this shows how Land’s life has completely changed due to a widespread virus, something he didn’t expect to happen while he was looking forward to starting a new chapter at HCC. Hopefully, things change soon for us all so that future college freshmen can have a better transition and overall experience in college.