A five-question survey revealed that many college students and recent graduates across the US continue to be uncertain about their future because of the pandemic.
The open-ended survey, which was created by two 2020 graduates and shared via Reddit, gathered 450 responses from students from schools such as UC Riverside, CSU Long Beach, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, and the University of Kansas.
The survey revealed that for many college students, coronavirus has derailed their academic plans and introduced more serious concerns. Some are afraid that their degrees would be rendered useless, while others are worried about being exploited or taken advantage of at future jobs.
Anxieties About the Future
Respondents have been taken aback by the sudden and devastating disruption brought about by the pandemic. A majority said that they now have to deal with more anxieties and concerns about life in and after college.
“I feel like the pandemic’s impact on the economy will ultimately affect my generation’s career futures in the job market,” a Louisiana State University student said. “I’m honestly not so sure how things will play out. Things can get a lot worse from here, and we have no reason to believe they’ll get any better.”
A senior from Michigan State University confessed that they are afraid to miss out on “professional and academic opportunities” as well as last social opportunities because they are in their last year. “It feels like everything has been taken away and there will be effects lasting years after the pandemic ends,” they said.
But some choose to find a silver lining in the situation, acknowledging that the pandemic made them more flexible.
Change of Plans
As the survey shifted its spotlight to academic plans, many respondents answered that they had to switch or drop majors to remain competitive after college and avoid wasting resources. Plus, the transition to online learning had affected students’ academic paths because a lot of them weren’t willing to pay full tuition for Zoom lectures and other digital resources.
Others chose to postpone taking a class, or even skip a semester, because they believe that they might not perform well in a remote setting. But there are some students who created several backup plans in case they fail because of the new mode of instruction.
“As a college student you feel powerless because you depend your daily life on college [and] it feels empty and non motivating during the pandemic,” said a University of California, Davis student.