This year has proven to be challenging as America struggles with health, economic and social crises. Throughout all of that, people have been expected to continue with life as normal. Among those are students who feel not only tired but stressed from handling the pandemic whilst still trying to be successful in school.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in 2017, more than 18 million students were enrolled in college in the U.S. and about three out of four of those students have experienced a sense of anxiety. At Florida A&M University, students have talked about how this semester has not been easy at all, and how their professors have not made things any easier.
Shideley Larochelle, a junior healthcare management student, feels like some of her professors have not been at all accommodating this semester.
“I feel this way because none of my professors this semester have asked about their students’ mental health,” Larochelle said. “Instead, it’s assignment after assignment with little to no guidance.”
COVID-19 has caused schools to turn to virtual learning, and students had expectations that the semester would be made easier for them to handle. Since this is completely new territory for everyone involved, students wanted their professors to reflect that in their teaching plans. Instead, many students feel like more assignments have been given and the grading has gotten even harder, causing many to feel overwhelmed and stressed about the outcome of this semester. Students have even begun to question why FAMU has not offered S/U grading to make the lives of students easier.
Junior health science student Alexis Peele believes that some of her professors have handled it well and have given their students time to adjust to the new learning environment. However, she did struggle with some of her classes.
“I would say two of my professors did a good job with teaching this semester considering we are in a pandemic,” Peele said. “I did have one whose rules weren’t adjusted. For example, our exams and quizzes were all during class time and a lot of students thought it wasn’t fair considering that a lot have to work. Yes, we are scheduled to be in class from a certain time, but things are way different.”
Both educators and students have faced many challenges in order to ensure people are receiving the best education possible. For Peele, she appreciates the fact that she was able to finish the semester on a good note despite the difficulties she faced. She said her professors even decided to make some last-minute changes to help the students.
“Toward the end I feel like my professors were helpful,” Peele said. “All of my professors opened up old assignments and some canceled the final exam if you already had an A in the class.”
With the fall semester coming to a close, many have begun to reflect on the unprecedented changes they have had to adjust to. While students agree it was difficult, they share the same sentiments of hope for a better, and COVID-19 free, year ahead.