Like many students across the county, NC State students have lost a number of things due to COVID-19 or the CoronaVirus. The Nubian Message would like to highlight the experiences of our student body, their stories deserve to be heard. They are not alone and are only a few of many college students across the country who are grappling with the current pandemic. We recently sat down with Tia Canada, a graduating senior majoring in political science, to discuss her experience.
NM: What resources or opportunities have you lost as a result of COVID-19?
TC: Since Covid-19, I have lost a large chunk of my support system; especially leading to graduation. Before all of this, I was having consistent meetings with professors, advisors, and counselors to make sure that I was on track to graduate in May and be prepared to enter my graduate program in the fall. I was also utilizing the counseling center to continue to work and maintain positive mental health; especially during this time of transition. Since being forced to leave campus, I have had to adjust in a way I was not suspecting and I feel like it was somewhat of a setback.
NM: Have you attempted to utilize any N.C. State’s resources? If so, which ones? Was it an easy process?
TC:I have attempted to utilize the resources offered in the campus community centers for students of color and keep up my access to counselors with CHASS. So far, these spaces have done a good job of continuing to maintain some sense of normalcy for students and have been pretty much accessible. Usually, there is a 24 hour turn around period.
NM: Throughout all this, has NC State negatively impacted you in any way? If so, how?
TC: I would say, overall, that NC State has not negatively impacted me. I find myself privileged in that regard. However, this event has impacted students negatively and I believe that NC State and various aspects of campus could be doing a better job of communicating direct impact to students and understanding how this has impacted students financially and transitioning and acting accordingly.
NM: How do you feel about beginning your transition to graduate school/ job search during a global pandemic and economic recession?
TC: I have been lucky enough to get an offer, accept, and entering into a program in the fall. However, it is still scary because we don’t really know what things will look like a week from now; let alone in August. Graduate school is definitely different from Undergrad in terms of workload, expectations, and community building. This is something that is already big adjustment, and while be an even bigger one if we find ourselves with limited access in the fall.
NM: Can you express the emotions you felt when told that you had to say goodbye to NC State three months before originally planned?
TC: Having to leave NC State, particularly the Black community, early was extremely sad. When they announced we would not be able to come back to campus for the remaining semester, I went through a grieving stage for about two weeks. For most of us, this meant we would not have our final Pan-Af, Ebony Harlem, org meetings, themed weeks, and graduation. The hurt I felt was indescribable. Being a sentimental person, I was already having a hard time only having 3 more months in a place and people who make Raleigh, and NC State home. Also, losing my last three months of undergrad was a hard pill to swallow, too. Undergrad just hits different. These are, probably, going to be the best four years of our lives and it got cut short, in some way or another, for all of us. This is time that we will never get back and for seniors it is now all a memory. It’s sad and hard. It’s something I would not wish on anyone. But, this is where we find ourselves and it makes me feel a little better that I am not alone in my feelings and have a community who is still trying their hardest to make me feel connected and end off strong.