OPINION: College Students Need to Make the Selfless Choice

OPINION%3A+College+Students+Need+to+Make+the+Selfless+Choice

Ethan Hunt

Students have vacated campus to complete the rest of the semester online, as only 160 App students who met the qualifications remain in on-campus housing for the remainder of the semester. This change brought about expected challenges for students and faculty alike. Discussion-heavy courses must be restructured, teachers and students must become acclimated to Zoom and the rest of the semester will inevitably feel incomplete. 

Besides watered down courses, the class of 2020 will experience lackluster graduation and commencement ceremonies, both of which will be held virtually, with graduates having the additional option to participate in an in-person ceremony in December. This restructuring  also puts a financial strain on students who can no longer work to pay rent or those who relied on student housing to provide them shelter. 

However, despite all these changes, students should make the most out of this time. Most of us are lucky enough to face no fatal risk from the virus and can benefit from the extra time it will provide us. We have the opportunity to make changes in our lives that the rambunctious and active nature of college living usually gets in the way of. We can read that book we’ve put off beginning or start that workout routine that we’ve avoided.

Those of us who have our health must remember that we are not victims, but the most fortunate group to experience this pandemic. We must also remember there are some among us who are not so lucky. 

Senior political science major Collin Mccord is a cancer survivor, who, when asked how COVID-19 has affected him, said, “The treatment and bone marrow transplant I went through as a child made my immune system compromised, which has made me change plans and stay at home and really limit the social interaction I have.” 

Social distancing is not simply the right thing to do for Collin, but a necessity for him. 

The rest of us would do well to remember that when Friday night comes around and we choose to stay in, we are not only doing what is best for society, but that we are also lucky to have a choice, not in a life-or-death situation. 

“It’s put more stress on certain areas, but it’s also opened up opportunities to reconnect with family and my hometown. There’s ups and downs, but at the end of the day, the bad is only as bad as you make it.” Says junior exercise science major John Gilbert. John’s philosophy is one that all of us should attempt to adopt, as the reality of this situation unfolds, all we can do is try to make the best of it. 

This pandemic poses challenges to all of us. It has made all of our lives harder in some way, but for college students, it has provided us an opportunity to work on ourselves, to grow and to ultimately emerge better because of it. We are not the victims; we must be thankful for our health and remember that we are the lucky ones. You missed formal? A Thursday at TApp? So what? There will be more formals and more Thursdays for us, but not for everybody. We all have a choice, let’s choose right.