The Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it a lot of uncertainty over the past year. Constant lockdowns, being away from friends and family and closures of schools. The past year has been very difficult for us all but students have been hit hard when it comes to their education.
Primary and secondary schools have been closed for the majority of the last year and there are worries that this closure will affect the education of young people in Ireland. Although classes have commenced remotely, students are not getting the same quality of education they would have gotten if they were to attend class in person.
For college students, it’s been a very weird year. Even with the re-opening of primary and secondary schools, third level education has remained online throughout the pandemic. Sitting at a computer all day for class and then having to sit at the same computer to complete assignments is extremely difficult and mundane.
Many students haven’t been on their college campuses for over a year now. With lectures being done remotely, students have been deprived of the college experience that we all look forward to in secondary school.
Students dream of attending lectures in a massive hall, joining college societies and going to the college bar to have a few pints with your newly made friends. As a masters student, I already had the crazy college experience. Going to Coppers on a Tuesday night was part of my weekly routine. But I feel college students who don’t get to experience the college life I had.
I talked to my brother Eoghan, a third year college student in Waterford Institute of Technology, who finished his Criminal Justice degree online this May. He was in his second year of college when the pandemic started and he told me about his experience with online learning over the past year. He had the full college experience whilst in Waterford as he lived with six friends and went on nights out every week. The transition from living with friends to back home with our parents was a hard one and we discussed the most difficult moments of the last year (especially when it came to bickering over the dishwasher).
Eoghan is a prime example of how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected college students’ lives over the past year. With the vaccine roll-out, third level institutions are on track to start on campus lectures again this September.
If there is anything you think Eoghan and I should talk about in future episodes please let us know in the comments below.
Comment below if you’re college experience has been affected by the pandemic!