NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

COVID-19’s effects on the college experience

Covid-19 has undoubtedly changed every aspect of modern life, and education is no exception.

Due to the current global pandemic, schools and administrators have been forced to make tough decisions regarding the reopening of schools this fall.

All Massachusetts schools were shut down last March, initially only for two weeks but eventually through the end of the year.

When it came to different universities and high schools, there was no universal reopening decision. Many Massachusetts universities opened up to some extent, but some have remained completely online, such as Northern Essex Community College.

According to NECC student, Xander J-Fowler, “It doesn’t really feel like… college,” because he is unable to study oncampus.

Most first year college students look forward to the physical classes and new environment, but Fowler said he feels like “it’s just been the same as high school.”

By not being able to have on campus classes, though for students’ own safety, it is hard to feel as though these recent graduates are truly moved onto the next aspect of their lives.

Merrimack College freshman and former Northern Essex student, Kylie Stuart, said “online classes have mostly affected [her] academic plan rather than [her] normal everyday life.”

Stuart was used to attending college full time, in person, when Covid-19 initially hit the United States.

Other schools have moved forward differently than NECC, but with very different circumstances, and some students at other universities weighed in on what their lives currentlylook like as well.

Ellen Nickodemus, a freshman at the University of Miami, when asked about safety precautions stated “Some teachers don’t wear masks in class,” regardless of the risks.

Alongside the leniency inside of the university, Florida has much less regard for the seriousnessof this illness, she said.  Nickodemus stated that “there’s a lot of tolerance in Florida for people disobeying the laws,” and that people constantly walk around high traffic areas, maskless.

Massachusetts schools, including Northern Essex Community College, seem to be the strictest when it comes to newly implemented rules surrounding the global pandemic.

Looking forward, hopefully schools will be able to open back up in a safe enough manner for the American people, but until then it seems as though many Massachusetts schools will remain online.