How College Students Are Dealing with the COVID-19 Crisis

Macmillan Employee
Macmillan Employee
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How are college students adjusting to this new way of life?


COVID-19 has swept the world faster than anyone could have predicted. College students are facing so much ambiguity and uncertainty about their future, it is important to stay positive and connected to loved ones. For me, a graduating senior, I have been feeling overwhelmed and looking for answers because I have no idea what my life will look like this summer. So, I reached out to my closest friends and asked them for support and positive messages. We discussed our struggles with mental health, school, work, and our plans for the future. This podcast was recorded on April 01, 2020 and reflects the policies and governmental guidance that were in place at the time.

Zoie Thomas is studying Communications Studies at the University of Kansas who is originally from California and currently living on-campus in Lawrence.

0:54 Katie McGaughey is a senior studying Exercise Kinesiology and Psychology who serves as a Student Ambassador for Macmillan Learning. She is from Wichita and living off-campus in Lawrence.

1:11 Hollie Hall is a first-year PhD student originally from London, England who is living off campus in Lawrence.

1:26 Rianon Wallace-Demby is studying Ecology, Evolutionary, and Organismal Biology and Arabic and is living at home in Lawrence.

1:41 April Makara is a junior studying Psychology and is now living at home in Springfield, Missouri after being asked to leave her on-campus apartment in Lawrence.

2:00 We spoke about housing and being moved out of the on-campus apartments after the school was officially online for the remainder of the semester.

4:50 We expressed our struggles with mental health and how we are uniquely dealing with quarantine. Along with extra time comes new hobbies, from baking to cooking together on Zoom to painting to walking our pets, we have been using this time to exercise creative outlets and bettering ourselves.

13:40 Hollie compares the way that people are practicing social distancing here versus in London, where her family is living. She has started a petition to grant grade forgiveness due to COVID-19.

16:50 We all discussed transitioning to online school, strategies to limit distractions, and staying productive without a set schedule. We compared the University of Kansas to other universities on how they are approaching refunds, housing, international and out-of-state students, students with disabilities, credit/no credit, online lectures, exams, and assignments.

27:50 We discussed the positives of this experience. From making and delivering food, donating supplies, giving away clothes, making more time for family and friends we wouldn’t normally see, and finally, being a part of a historical event that will be talked about for years to come.

42:10 Rianon explained that COVID-19 regulations moving universities to online has been properly accommodating for her disabilities, ultimately allowing her to graduate on time.

45:30 Finally, we talked about the future and how we are going to move on after the quarantine is lifted. We discussed how our daily interactions will change with the death of the handshake and how we will probably disinfect our groceries for the rest of our lives. However, we will come out of this change ultimately for the better and we look forward to what the world looks like in the future. I graduate in May and Rianon and Zoie will graduate in December, so we discuss entering a job force where hiring is basically frozen. April and Hollie talk about how school will change for them in the fall.

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Katherine McGaughey
University of Kansas

Katie is a senior who is double-majoring in exercise science and psychology at the University of Kansas. Originally from Wichita, she loves exploring new cities and has traveled to eight of the top twenty most influential cities in the world so far. She loves cooking and finding the best vegan eats. You can usually find her in planning her next adventure, enjoying a concert with friends, or late-night studying at the library.