Vox Pop: Coping with college and career in quarantine
It is definitely a make-or-break season for those trying to balance career and COVID-19 at home. For some, it is the ideal time to reconnect with themselves, family members and get creative with work. While with others, the cookie crumbles and they can’t seem to get a grip on managing expectations, schedules or deadlines. But what happens when you factor in work and school?
Donnette Mason, 26, photographer and bachelor’s degree student
Donnette Mason took her lemons and made cocktails when she stumbled on roadblocks with her work and assignments.
When the quarantine measures were implemented, it was in the middle of the school semester. I had multiple assignments to complete. It wasn’t going to be easy doing them from home. But I had no choice. After some time, I still wasn’t able to fully focus on these assignments, and I thought that the best thing to clear my mind was to get creative.
I am a photographer, and of course, I was faced with cancelled events and shoots. I started looking around the house for items that could be used for the shots that I wanted to capture. Initially, things weren’t as serious with the COVID-19 situation, so I called up three of my friends to add the human aspect to my vision. We took all the necessary precautions, sanitising properly and keeping our distance. Thank God for lenses that don’t require me to be close to the subject. Social distancing at its best. After things took a serious turn, I moved to the still-life objects at home and I made it work. I just started to photograph random things and before I knew it, I was doing better with my assignments, and I was finally happy again.
The same could not be said for Shelly-Ann Sibblies. She has been having a much harder time working and studying effectively from her home.
Shelly-Ann Sibblies, 32, drama teacher and master’s degree student
As a drama teacher, it is quite interesting to explore creative ways of giving student tasks virtually due to the nature of the subject. Sadly, I am not interacting with all my students. Not even half of the populace in each class that I teach are available, with the exception of fourth and fifth forms. There is a challenge with the students having no Internet access, poor Internet service and/or insufficient data. As a result, they will get bumped off a zoom class or they are unable to submit the assignments given.
For my subject area, students are normally placed in groups to complete tasks. Based on the current situation, they are forced to work alone, which enhances and showcases their individual creative skills. However, studying in groups comes with its share of triumphs and challenges. Persons have been able to rally and rely on each other during online presentations. With all the challenges, there were rough transitions that could jeopardise final grades.
How are you coping? Send your response to firstname.lastname@example.org.