In the new normal of life since COVID-19, some college students are back home, and others are still working.
While COVID-19 has been affecting many states, government officials have placed a stay at home order to their residents. The in-place stay at home order has exceptions. The exceptions allow residents to leave their houses, but only for essentials, such as food and toiletry. Some residents who work at these local grocery stores are a part of the essential workers' group like healthcare workers.
Some of these grocery stores have employees who are college students as well ones who have been affected by COVID-19. College students, who are essential workers, have to worry about online courses and being safe when going to work. Alexandria Rayford, Junior at Spring Hill College, stated, "It has been tiring because I have to worry about getting an assignment in on time. Also, I have an obligation to work and be safe. I always pray that I do not bring anything home to my family. That is why customers need to wear a mask. Even though my job has taken safety measures for us, customers need to do their part. In a positive light, I'm doing my best to balance both and keep up my grades so I can finish the semester strong." This outbreak has been a testing time of balancing work and online school for college students all around the world.
Other college essential workers are not just in the grocery store industries. Some restaurants and car dealerships are still open during this COVID-19 pandemic. Essential jobs can be anything that is a need for residents in different states. College students have had a difficult time getting used to the new norm while still trying to work at their necessary jobs. Rilie McDaniel, Senior at Spring Hill College, said, "Adjusting to the change was a little difficult at first. I work at a car dealership, so I was used to seeing the same people every day. Also we're in the middle of our biggest sale yet, so it went from being full to almost like a ghost town. It is not as bad as I thought it would be working during the pandemic. I have to keep as much distance as I can and always sanitize the stuff I use at my desk." Employees, like McDaniels, are workers who are in close distance to customers and prove that adjusting to social distancing can be hard.
Other college students volunteer to be essential workers. Since some students work on campus and campuses are closed, they have lost their jobs. The college students who volunteer want to keep a regular schedule, as if they were on campus. They do their virtual classes, clubs, and go to their imperative volunteering. Also, they want to help out as much as they can during COVID-19. Lauren Hahn, Junior at Spring Hill College stated, "I have been volunteering during this time because I like to be proactive. I know how fortunate I am to be in good health during this time so I want to assist those people that aren’t as lucky as I am. I keep safe by following all the protocols that have been put in place by the organization and social distancing in case I come into contact with the virus.”
College students are on the front line during the COVID-19 outbreak. They are working and volunteering at these fundamental places like grocery stores, restaurants, and car dealerships. It is vital for them to be safe during this crisis while still fulfilling their work duties.