College Students Coping with the COVID-19 Health Crisis | #WeBelongInCollege Stories
Last updated August 12, 2023
College students throughout the country have dealt 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
Eva’s #WeBelongInCollege Story
Amber's #WeBelongInCollege Story
Enoch’s #WeBelongInCollege Story
Karoline's #WeBelongInCollege Story
Rita's #WeBelongInCollege Story
Kylee’s #WeBelongInCollege Story
Victoria’s #WeBelongInCollege Story
"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."