Dear College Students,
We’re all going through an odd time right now. What we thought was going to be a typical spring semester has turned out to be something I do not believe any of us could have fathomed. We’re now learning that we cannot return to our beloved campuses. While our hometowns will always be home, our campuses are home to us as well. The news that we cannot go to our university homes is devastating. For some of us, it may be challenging to travel to our hometowns and have to find a new place to live in a short period of time. For those students, I encourage you to reach out to your schools to explore options.
We are also tasked with having to complete our spring semester online. For us online students, we have been doing this for quite some time now and are pros. However, for students that are used to being in a classroom setting, this change could affect your learning experience. Remember, our professors are probably just as frustrated as we are. Be patient with them. This is a brand-new world for all of us. Your schools are trying to do the best they can given the circumstances, respect the process and the struggle and try to do the best you possibly can.
To My Fellow Seniors,
I understand the heartbreak completely. We were all planning on celebrating and walking across that stage in just a few weeks. For most of us, we have been waiting for this commencement ceremony for years. This was going to be my second commencement ceremony at Florida State and probably my last. As an online student, I looked forward to going back to my campus, where I spent my undergrad years. Although the campus and city have changed some since I was there, the memories are still so strong.
In the past few weeks, we discovered that this idea we all imagined of this glorious time is not going to happen as we planned. Even though I know the schools are going to work with us to provide us a celebration, the disappointment and hurt is still there.
While we may be struggling to deal with all these abrupt changes, it does not take away all of the work we have done. The dedication and time that we put into our degrees are still there. We will still be graduating, just in our own way. One day in the future, we will tell our children or grandchildren or nieces and nephews how our highly anticipated graduation day was all changed around due to a virus.
We will grow from this situation. It will teach us how to adapt to changes. It will teach us how to manage stress and frustrations. This is a time to reflect on all that is important to us. This is a time to realize not to take anything for granted. Take the time to practice self-care. FaceTime loved ones that you are always too busy to see. Take the time to appreciate the simplicity of being able to go to a restaurant or the beach.
In addition, take some time to explore the NASW-FL website – http://www.naswfl.org/home.html – for Resources for Social Work Education during COVID19.
Stay safe. All will be well again soon!
MSW Student Representative
National Association of Social Workers, Florida Chapter