Art by Madeline Duvall
For a large portion of the teenage population, attending college is one of the many pinnacles of transitioning into adulthood in society. Typically, college enables students to start a life independent of their families; however, due to COVID-19, some of them are unable to move out and move on from their adolescent self.
College is a time for self-exploration and discovery. It is a chance for growth, allowing most undergraduates the chance to uncover the person they are destined to become. Studying online at home, surrounded by outdated childhood pictures and tattered stuffed animals doesn’t exactly symbolize a new chapter of maturity.
It is imperative that, upon graduation, college students are well-rounded and ready to immerse themselves into society so they can invest in building a life. Internship and job opportunities, as well as social development during college, aid young adults in this transition, but COVID-19 interferes with the whole process.
College is often the first opportunity for students to gain real-world experience in a specific field of study. Internships provide students with the chance to grow in their area of interest and develop a good work ethic and path for life. The pandemic, however, has brought most of them to a halt.
Many colleges are attempting to put students in touch with online alternatives, according to College-Workforce Transitions, but the benefits of in-person training are more difficult to attain in this day and age.
When living on campus, college students have “access to a wide variety of educational and community programming,” as mentioned by the Student Affairs Administration of Higher Education. This pushes students to get involved and gives them the necessary support they might need throughout the school year. Living on campus promotes academic involvement and encourages participation in activities that would benefit a student’s education.
Instead of becoming more reliant on themselves during the pandemic, numerous young adults remain dependent on their family and parents. This can stunt students from becoming mature citizens in society.
Living at home while in college can increase emotional stress. While living on campus, students are able to establish daily routines and determine which lifestyle choices work best for them. Living on campus can also expand socialization across majors and classes and increase academic focus, according to College Basics.
In some homes, parents constantly bombard their children with questions about work and classes. These young adults can begin to feel suffocated in their own homes, which can lead to many mental and emotional disturbances. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 41% of the participants reported experiencing inimical emotions, anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder during the pandemic.
Since most colleges aren’t letting students on campus, a significant number are living with roommates in off-campus apartments or houses. This is to their benefit, as they are learning what it truly means to be independent from family. Pushing students out of their comfort zones and giving them the capabilities to be on their own is exactly what they need at this age.
People need to learn to be self-reliant and know themselves enough to be able to start their own lives separate from sheltered upbringings. For some, quarantine has helped make relying on family increasingly difficult; young adults living on their own are becoming more resourceful and knowledgeable.
Not all students, however, are able to have this experience or move onto Pepperdine’s Malibu campus in the first place.
Living at home with family during this time period and being deprived of many vital college ventures can be stressful. The absence of independence and experience can infringe on the natural growth of transitioning into adulthood.
With the uncertainty of the future, all college students can do is try to keep a positive mindset. Keep finding routines that work, remain hopeful that COVID-19 will run its course and use this time to become a stronger, better person on the other side of this dark tunnel.
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Email Emily Chase: firstname.lastname@example.org