Opinion: Don’t Stress About the Global Pandemic, You Have an Assignment Due

Right now we are living in very uncertain, rocky times. Life around us continues to change from what it used to be.

However, one thing that is consistent is school. The formatting of it may be different but consistent deadlines, papers, group discussions and class times are not.

How are students supposed to focus, learn and find motivation despite all that is going on around them?

A month ago, many college students were tired, stressed, penniless and looking forward to spring break. Now, many of us are at our homes, jobless, working online or working “essential” jobs due to COVID-19.

In addition to this, many students have moved back home or are looking for a place to live because they are unable to pay rent. However, that’s not the only thing college students have to worry about, we have to still continue school online. Not by our choice, but for our safety — the decision made by the University of Central Oklahoma.

People across the world are dealing with this as well, not just college students. However, I feel that college students get the worst end of the stick.

The reason you may ask?


Many Americans have been laid off from their jobs due to the coronavirus. Among those laid off are college students. College students who may not be receiving any relief from the government.

Stimulus Checks

On March 27, President Donald Trump signed a stimulus package that included relief to many Americans with a $1,200 stimulus check to help those affected by COVID-19. However, many college students will not be receiving that check because they were still claimed as dependents on their parents’ 2018 and 2019 tax returns.

Those tax returns are what qualifies certain Americans for the stimulus check. If someone did not file independently on either tax return, they will not be receiving a stimulus check.

But what about the $500 given for children on a guardian’s tax return? The money is being awarded for children under the age of 18 years old.

Online Work

Additionally, many college students are now jobless and will not be receiving any relief from the government. One of the reasons many college students are jobless is, unlike their parents, many cannot work from home.

“Most of the jobs that college students work, you don’t really have the option to work from home, so this really puts us in a bind,” said UCO sophomore Zion Carter.

This leaves many students unable to pay their bills.

“It’s putting me behind on payments,” Carter said. “At the end of the day, I still owe rent, I still owe electric, I still owe money to my school.”

Those who are able to work online are saying that they are now given more work than they would be if they were in person. This is a problem that no one wants to have, but for college students, it is a problem they cannot have.

Whenever most adults complete their online work, they can go about their day as usual, but not for college students. Once online work for their job is complete, it is time to start on schoolwork or vice versa.

“It’s too much going on at once,” said UCO junior Evan Bostic.

It is a balance that college students have to find. Completing extra piled on work for their job to make a living and having to do schoolwork to “make the grade.”

This is not including a motivation factor.

Ask yourself, after completing two times the amount of work you would do in-person at your house, would you be motivated to do schoolwork? I assume the answer is no, especially with all the new-found distractions and a “self-made schedule.”


While many Americans have to deal with the adjustment of work changes, many students are dealing with both. Making the adjustment from class in-person to online can be strenuous.

From having a set day and time for each class, to creating a new schedule amidst all of the changes going on around you, it may be very hard to find the motivation to do schoolwork, let alone anything else.


One group of people who can make this transition the most challenging is professors. It seems that some of them have thrown in the towel while trying to adjust to this “new normal.”

However, they still expect their students to create superb, timely work as if everything is normal. Many of my friends have told me they have not heard from many of their professors since the announcement of online classes.

They have had no Zoom classes, check-ins, no updated grades, etc. The only thing they said they received was a schedule change via email.

How do professors expect their students to perform at their best whenever some cannot do the same? Why should they expect this from students?

Most professors have an understanding of what students are going through. Because of this, you would think they would all work to be more understanding, but contrary to my belief, this is an email I received from one professor, whose identity will be kept anonymous.


A recent national news story said schools are reporting that online learning is not going well in this pandemic. Some students are not doing assignments; others are doing less than acceptable work. Please keep in mind that although this pandemic is creating hardships for us all, I will not lower academic standards. I am hoping you are keeping up with your reading and working on your term project. I have heard from some of you, but not others. That’s OK if you have no questions. Just keep in mind that I will grade your work in the end as I would during any other semester. This is not a vacation. Obviously.”

Thank you for the understanding, however, this is not a normal semester. In my opinion, I don’t believe we should be having school now.


Like online work for jobs, many courses have increased their workload for students. Class discussions turned into five-page essays and assignments have been doubled.

For working students, this means work has doubled both at school and at their job. It’s hard enough doing one of these with the effects of the coronavirus.

We are in a pandemic, I have no motivation and can barely focus. Not only does school want to pile on extra work, but jobs do as well.

I feel like a full-time employee at my job, as well as a full-time student with twice the amount of work.


Contributing to the already stressful school situation, many students had to move due to COVID-19 causing unemployment, changes to campus housing or other issues. Many are struggling to find a place to live, while some have moved back in with their families.

This is a big shock and change to be made on short notice. A significant adjustment in correlation with additional tasks at work, the ever-changing world and rules around you and school.

How are you supposed to focus on school whenever you are trying to adjust to, or find, a new living space?


A word that I have said countless times during this op-ed is the word motivation. How can you find any motivation to do work with all of these distractions?

How can you find any motivation whenever you are displaced from your home? How do you look or find motivation whenever you have no set schedule, can no longer look forward to the weekend because everything is closed and you don’t know what day of the week it is?

What is keeping you motivated? The Vista would like to hear from you, leave us a comment below.

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