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College Students Coping with the Health Crisis | #WeBelongInCollege Stories

Last updated August 5, 2021

College students throughout the country are dealing with extraordinary challenges because of our current health crisis. Watch these #WeBelongInCollege stories from students about how they are managing to cope and continue to work towards their educational goals.

Serena’s #WeBelongInCollege Story

There is nothing more inspiring than someone who is in the midst of their own struggle and chooses to dedicate themselves to help others. Serena shares her story to help others who are in the same situation.

Eva’s #WeBelongInCollege Story

Eva, like many of us, is frustrated with this situation. However, she has stayed positive and has advice that she wants all of us to hear: “We’ve just got to keep pushing through this. We all need to focus on our mental health and keep doing what we can to stay safe and healthy.”

Amber's #WeBelongInCollege Story

It didn’t take long for the severity of the situation to really sink in for Amber. She was absolutely thriving at college. Returning home and figuring out how to focus on her studies and stay healthy - both physically and mentally - has been a real challenge. Now she has some really great advice to share: “Get on a schedule. Everyone’s saying it - BECAUSE IT WORKS!”

Enoch’s #WeBelongInCollege Story

Like many students throughout the country, Enoch has been struggling to adapt to online learning and physical distancing. In his story, he shares one coping strategy that has been helping him get through this crisis.

Karoline's #WeBelongInCollege Story

Karoline is grateful to her college for letting her stay in her dorm room. Regardless, physical distancing in a dorm room is tough. Karoline constantly worries about her family members who are sick. Through it all, Karoline has found self-care strategies that are helping her persist through the pandemic.

Rita's #WeBelongInCollege Story

Rita has struggled to stay positive ever since she had to abruptly leave college during her second semester. Like most students, her life has been upended by Covid-19. Both she and her mother have lost their jobs and they can no longer afford their home. She doesn’t know what the future holds, and yet, there is one thing that Rita is still absolutely certain about: “One thing I do know for sure is that I belong in college.”

Kylee’s #WeBelongInCollege Story

Kylee was doing well in her classes when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. She lost her job when she had to go back home. Without her salary, she wasn’t sure if she would be able to pay her tuition. And yet, still she persisted!

Darius's #WeBelongInCollege Story

Darius has always worked to help his mother provide for his younger siblings. After being laid off from his job due to COVID-19, he worried about his family AND questioned whether he would be able to stay in college. In his story, he explains how he managed to stay positive and found that “there was a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Victoria’s #WeBelongInCollege Story

Victoria was so proud to be a first generation student. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she started falling behind. She questioned whether she belonged as she compared herself to other students who seemed to be managing just fine while she struggled. Watch this story to see how Victoria realized she was not alone and once again came to believe that she belongs in college!

"When I graduated high school, I was absolutely excited. I was accepted as a civil engineering major, accepted into the marching band, and I was ready to explore all the opportunities a prestigious school like UCLA could offer me. I knew it was going to be a difficult transition and that it would take more work than high school did, but I couldn’t understand how unprepared I was until I got there. Going in, I was proud to be a first-generation college student and sought to use my time as a college student to gather information and tips that would be useful for my younger siblings to know once they got to that point in their lives. Now that I was there, I felt more out-of-place than anything. While the classes were enjoyable, I was behind most of my peers academically. Even with all the time I felt that I was putting in, I struggled to understand what seemed to be easy concepts for so many others. The more I thought about it, the more this weighed down on me. I hit my lowest point towards the end of winter quarter. I was emotionally and mentally drained, tired, and struggled to feel motivated as I worried more and more if my academic career would continue to go as badly as it had thus far. My mental well-being was further knocked down by the whispers of the pandemic and rumors of what administration would decide to do if it got any worse. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cry once I found out UCLA would be transitioning to remote learning for spring. I desperately wanted to be, to put it bluntly, good at school; I wondered how I would even have the chance to improve in the upcoming quarter if I would be at home. Still, I knew if I didn’t at least try, I would continue to feel as if I wasn’t good enough. While remote learning proved difficult as I continued my fight for motivation while fulfilling my academic responsibilities and my responsibilities as the oldest sibling. I learned that sticking to a schedule and keeping my mind engaged with academics and passion projects worked wonders to keep myself motivated. Little by little, I become more engaged with my learning. Little by little, I learned that I am capable of academic growth and gaining new skills. Despite the school year being over, I have kept myself busy between a remote research lab position, painting, learning new cooking recipes, and teaching myself how to code. At the end of winter quarter, I found myself almost immobilized by academic apathy. In the quiet of night, I’d toss and turn, worrying about how I would get my degree if I could hardly handle the lower division courses I was taking then. Now, with the year behind me, I feel reinvigorated and excited to take the next steps in my educational journey. I’ve rediscovered that I belong in college."

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