OPINION | Sympathetic yet stressed: attending UCCS during the pandemic

     My freshman year I was sent home in March. UCCS Administrators told students this was going to be a temporary break as COVID-19 cases surged. I did not bat an eye when my sophomore and junior years passed by while I sat in my bedroom on Zoom calls for class.  

     Now, I graduate in three months. My college experience could be described as an online internship. I do not place blame on anyone for this situation because it’s not like anyone could have predicted a global pandemic. It sounds like a scene from out of a movie.  

     However, the lack of consistency in these past couple years has made me stressed, exhausted and desperately in need of a significant break.  

     As I prepared to go to college, I had many people above me tell me what it was going to be like — how I would make lifelong friends, create important memories and discover myself.  

     Nowhere in their advice did it say how I would have to learn to monetarily support myself and maintain my grades all while living through a pandemic. 

     But again, I try to remain sympathetic. These unprecedented times created unprecedented challenges. 

     There was something that could be done though — we could have received better resources, advice and support during this pandemic.  

     The transition from online to in-person two years ago was a trainwreck. The lack of transparency from UCCS did nothing to help with this adjustment. Most students had to move back home and were uncertain about their academic future. 

     Yet there was little to help students at this time. No mental health resources were offered, emails were left unanswered and students were expected to manage this transition on their own. 

     Now enter 2020 where school was conducted fully online and many students did not return. Those who chose to continue were faced with Zoom calls, discussion posts and studying in solitude.  

     However, we made it through the year and got used to the characteristics of online school.  

     In 2021, it was determined that we would return back to school. Regardless of COVID-19 cases, we were to remain in-person. 

     Currently, I am exhausted from adjusting to all this change and wished for some kind of continuity in my years at UCCS. 

     As previously stated, I am sympathetic to those who had to make difficult decisions during this time. However, my sympathy does not make me less angry at UCCS for their lack of planning, consistency and transparency. Though this situation is a complex one, UCCS is still fully accountable for their actions that endangered, disrespected and stressed students out.  

    Students were not put first in decisions regarding the University and often were not even consulted. 

     So while I have learned a lot about myself and the world around me, I cannot help but think how I could have been better supported during this time.