NECC Observer

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

Students find ways to work with the pandemic

During COVID-19 especially at the start, 22 million jobs were lost which made it all around hard for many people. We even came to the point America started cutting stimulus checks. This can be hard for many adults most clearly but wha tabout college students?

Many young people have simple first jobs like working afast-food joint or a target. This means many of the jobs come to find out are non-essential.

Looking at some college students we will see if we can find advice through their situations.

First interviewed was Brian Benjamin. He had worked part time for Panera Bread and had worked there throughout all high school.

“It was an easy and simple job that worked for the time being,” he said. When corona had hit, and the country startedto shut down he realized how dangerous working a food chain might be during apandemic. Panera had shut down and he decided to leave it at that along with few coworkers. He stayed home often afterwards like everyone else but as normal heneeded to work again to keep an income.

“I debated going back to Panera but didn’t really want back in the food business and didn’t want to wait. So instead Itook up landscaping with my Dad,” he said.

He then explained that he and his family believed it was a safer route working there instead of up close with hundreds of people even with the precautions.

This way it was a smaller group with his father and him being able to work safely the way they wanted. This job has also been considered essential which was a huge plus that led to his friend Danny Wezeza, a fellow NECC student to join along in the work.

Kolbe Powell has been an assistant manager for years at Market Basket and has loved it, making friends and new relationships. He took a year away due to going to Umass Lowell for his freshman year but is coming back and going to NECC due to the pandemic. When COVID-19 hit it was different for him because Market Basket did not close but rather cut down onhours. He found himself working less then he used to with this and fear of the pandemic due a close person he lives with having heart issues.

He stuck it up and has been focusing on towards school even more then he was with freed time and has been doing well.

But as others such as Benjamin, he knows you should start saving money when you are young without many bills.

“I think I’m going to be taking off the following semester to start building up again at my savings account especially with the need of a new car and my future. Whether it is at Market Basket or elsewhere I have to figure out,” he said. Without corona, taking time away from school would not have been necessary.

The last person interviewed was Sara Levesque. Before coronavirus, she had worked at Plaistow Pizza and as a home health aide.

When corona kicked in the pizza restaurant  shut down and cut down on hours big time due to having way less people work at once, so she quit.

She did not want to take the big cut on hours or run the risk of the virus with having a rare heart problem herself.

She began working as a home health aid full time all summer and even throughout school.

Working this job was perfect for her because it was with one person who does not leave her family or home health aide.

Also, it gave her plenty of time for schoolwork with having free time on the job to do all her online work. “I found the perfect opportunity for me during these hard times and I’m glad I did,” she said.

People have struggled during these times but it is not about being knocked down its about getting back up.

These college students have found their own ways to work with the pandemic and you will find yours if you have not yet.