by Haley Strom
2020 has been a rough year that has put a damper on college students’ performance and mental health, which has turned out to look very different for many students.
Freshman college student Allison Carter is a student who has been affected by the pandemic, leaving North Attleboro High School and transitioning to Bridgewater State University during a pandemic was not the ideal transition for her.
“Living at home has affected me. I feel left out from my friends who are away at school and the people at my school who are having fun.”
When talking to her sister, NAHS junior Sara Carter was talking about the bond that they have created since her sister has remained home. She said, “We have created such a stronger relationship since she has been home. We used to not be close, but now we are best friends and we have never been this close before.”
When talking to Alli about her opinion on living at home, she told me, “Time management is very hard for me at home. I have to balance working on lectures, homework, papers, and asynchronous courses, along with spending time with my family and household chores, and making time to visit my girlfriend an hour away.”
She continued, “I get distracted very easily because I am at home. If I was at school, I would have a lot more time and would be more focused on academics, but at home it’s often pushed to the back of my mind.”
Living at home both takes from living the college experience, and takes away from your focus and drive towards schoolwork. Alli said, “I feel less motivated at home. It’s hard separating school from home life and I’ve been falling asleep and going on Tik Tok when I know there are things I need to be doing.”
Sara feels as if having two students working from home with different schedules can impact focus on school. Sara said, “In some ways it has been distracting because sometimes I am in class and Alli is being loud when she doesn’t have a class.” Although Sara and Alli work in different areas around the house, it has become a distraction for each other when they aren’t both in class.
When you’re expecting to move away to college for your freshman year and you become forced to live at home, your mentality changes. Many students weren’t provided the option to even live on campus this semester, but Alli had the option. She chose to stay at home and further explained. “I could’ve lived on campus the first semester, but I decided not to because all my classes were virtual. A huge part of that influence was my roommate. She decided to stay home and that helped me decide because I had a hard time trying to find a replacement, but staying home was not a bad decision.”
Her family on the other hand, felt a little different, at first. Sara said, “At first I was upset that she was going to be home and not at college because I was excited for a little break from her. I was also excited that I was going to be the only child at home, but in the end, I’m glad she is home.”
Alli is in the same boat as many other freshmen in college. Justin Strom, a freshman attending Umass Dartmouth, has also chosen to live at home. With a last minute decision to stay home, Justin is content with his decision. “I was able to save lots of money by staying home. Although I wish I could have moved onto campus, I would not have been able to experience the life of a normal college student,” Justin said.
Although many students have been upset about living at home, Alli and Justin have found ways to keep positive. With both perspectives, Justin said, “I am hopeful to return to campus next semester.”