The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Virus causes drastic change for students

TCC district decides to shut down all campuses due to a shelter-in-place order. A rare photo demonstrates the once-busy TR Campus now eerily vacant. Brooke Baldwin/The Collegian
TCC district decides to shut down all campuses due to a shelter-in-place order. A rare photo demonstrates the once-busy TR Campus now eerily vacant. Brooke Baldwin/The Collegian

BY Lissette Salgado/campus editor

TCC district decides to shut down all campuses due to a shelter-in-place order. A rare photo demonstrates the once-busy TR Campus now eerily vacant. Brooke Baldwin/The Collegian

Everything is changing for students and fast. While courses shift entirely online, one student who works for a disinfection company had his workload double, while another working for an event center had his hours cut entirely.

“I have never been successful with online courses in general and highly doubt I’m about to suddenly be great at them,” NE student Harley Need said. “Plus this was supposed to be my last semester.”

Need is a photography student who was excited to shoot some upcoming projects but can no longer access the camera equipment she needs at school. Then they have new worries — Will their immunosuppressed relatives be OK? And how long will their household goods last? Will they still graduate?

“It’s causing me a lot of anxiety,” NE student Ande Floyd said.

At least 123,000 U.S. public and private schools have closed as of March 23, affecting 55 million students according to edweek.org.. TR student Maleena Wang has completed online classes before, but math is a problem for her. While she believes she can get through speech and federal government online, she said her math professor uses complex math verbiage.

“I have to try to figure out how to solve all my problems with the examples online,” Wang said. TR student Diane Wanger saw that TCC recently posted videos of how to use Blackboard. “Wow, that would have been nice when I first started taking courses last semester,” Wanger said.

NE English as a Second Language student Chin-hua Mu says she is OK with online classes but is uncertain how her professors will teach with the lack of face-to-face communication. She worries that online classes will prevent ESL students like her from learning the proper pronunciation she gets through in-person communication. “If we have any questions, our professor would try to explain slowly,” Mu said. ”But now, I’m not sure anymore.”

NE student Floyd loved being in her classes. It is her last semester before graduating but worries if that will even happen.
“To have them isolated to strictly screen time, it’s heartbreaking,” Floyd said.

SE student Kylie Hodges is also a UTA student, Zeta Tau Alpha sorority member and a dance teacher at a local studio. She says she values the additional free time and less time on her phone.

“Personally, it has given me more time to spend with my family and my new puppy,” Hodges said.

There are students like Wang who find themselves staying home but have family members who continue to go out to workplaces that don’t require the face masks for employees staying six feet apart.

Wang is also worried about her father who works in a restaurant.
He cooks in the kitchen so he was able to keep his job for those ordering food curbside.

“I know his respiratory and immune system isn’t the best, but I know he has no other choice to keep working, sadly,” she said.

Students like Need have family members who are either immunocompromised or have health issues. More than schoolwork, she says she constantly worries about whether or not they will be OK if they contract the virus. “I’m not stressed immensely about getting it, my bigger fear is my mom getting it,” Need said.

While some students have had their hours cut back, or they were laid off, others like Need have had their hours increase. Need works for a disinfection company.

“While most people are stressing about how they’re going to survive without a job, I’m out here wondering when I’m finally going to sleep,” Need said. “I’m working a good 60-70 hours a week. Maybe upwards of 80.” But she feels blessed to at least still have money coming in. NW student Ja’Lun Morris worked at AT&T stadium but all events have been canceled. He said his classes have labs this semester.

This is hands-on work, and at one point he said his teacher instructed him to visit the labs once a week.

All campuses are now closed to everyone. But Morris does not feel comfortable going out in public anyway.

“I’m staying home, maybe forever,” he said. “I do not feel comfortable going up to TCC.”

Younger people have been testing positive yet not presenting symptoms, he said. It’s not safe to be around anybody.

Students now have much more than schoolwork to worry about as COVID-19 infects every part of their lives. “I’m a little concerned on how the rest of the semester will turn out and how everything will go down,” Hodges said.

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