Students choosing to drop out because of the circumstances COVID has put them through financially and mentally.

By: Mac-Dege Dessources

COVID has surfaced in America making everything change, giving us no other choice but to adapt to the new way of living. Education has shifted to stay at home learning so that the spread can deescalate, but it has caused trouble for those who can’t seem to catch up from home. Colleges have been one of the places that made a change in how they teach their students. Using platforms like blackboard, zoom and etc to try and give students who have been forced to stay home the classroom like feeling. Yes, this has been a safer way to learn but is it more effective? Lack of resources, feelings of discouragement, and a stop of in school activities is taking a toll on the decision of continuing the education that is paid for. Instead of taking this new path as an opportunity, students are viewing this as a reason to not aim for graduating.

“I saw myself becoming a better version instead of following my brother’s footsteps.” said Jones.

Zaire Jones, a former sophomore and basketball player in Bronx Community College, is leaning towards leaving school to get a job instead of dealing with the hardships of trying to make it through all his online classes. Jones was doing a phenomenal job with his classes, while balancing trying to try out for the school’s basketball team and working towards his physical education degree until everything went online.

“I felt discouraged and decided not to go back because I am already so behind, there’s no way I will be able to catch up- especially if money is already tight at home sys Jones. “Why waste my time and try to adapt if CUNY does not give me the chance to?”

Remote learning is steering the students away since they have no option but to adapt to the new way of earning their degree. Many haven’t adapted and caused them to either have failing grades or just decided to leave school. Unexpected expenses cause students to be confused and discouraged. USA Today explains the obstacle COVID has left for students. Digging deeper into the reasons why dropping out has been the ending result for most of the college participants. Many of these participants are parents, workers, or athletes that have already had to find the balance between their own schedule and school. Now that school is online the responsibility is on them to attend classes and remember assignments. Professors, counselors, and advisors don’t have the same guidance on the participants as they did before- leaving the participants to forget to check up on classes and their grades.

            “It’s hard,” says Anastasia Bitis, the coach of York College womens’ basketball team.     “Making sure that my athletes are still ‘in the mood’ for school has been another challenge on my list. Most of my girls only came into school because of the fact that we have basketball, now that there isn’t any for right now, they lost their motivation.”

York College women’s basketball team preparing for one of their last games competing before realizing that this would the last game for a while. Since corona began the team has not seen or stepped into the gym, slowly drifting away from the hope of returning. Photo by Mac-Dege Dessources

According to the Sports Journal on March 12, 2020 NCAA announced the cancelation of winter and fall sports for the safety of players, coaches and etc. A student athletes’ main priority is the sport that they play. It can be the reason for why they take on the duties of being a full-time college student. Playing is college begins the journey of opportunities in participating in a higher division or finding interest in other schools that helps step deeper into the professional level. If that was the only reason for someone to go to school, then it is likely for them to drop out because their main purpose has been taken away. “Now that fall athletic seasons are starting to be cancelled, it is important have a clear understanding regarding the overall well-being of student-athletes so that proper resources and programming interventions can be provided to assist with their preparations for the fall semester, both academically and athletically.” Sports Journal mentions. Leaving the education, the athlete once would have had in order to play seems to be the only option in their eyes. The challenge is making sure that these athletes remember that education is still key even without the participating in sports.

            The mental distress and chaos have caused college students to reconsider if that degree is worth this new way of learning. The shift with no warning left a mark on a few making it hard for them to come back to the path they set of getting that degree. The question is, what is out there for students who have been drained and effected by the change of their education?

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