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The Stress of COVID-19 for College Students


The restrictions of the Coronavirus can feel stressful at times when being quarantined, whether people are trying to keep the people safe or not knowing what to do in your home. In addition to all the health issues, there are other aspects of COVID-19 that could be stressing residents out. For college students returning home, spending time with their family could either be something they look forward to or something they completely dread. 

Ryan Bukowski, 21, is staying at his childhood home in Bronx, New York. Bukowski currently goes to school at University of Virginia, but when visiting his family, the Coronavirus restrictions were announced. Now Bukowski is quarantined with his mother, father, sister and newborn baby niece. 

“My family is a lot to handle, which is why I usually only visit them in short spans,” said Bukowski. “I was just really excited to see my niece for the first time.” Bukowski comes from a multicultural household and said that his mother has a short temper when it comes to certain topics.

“I try to stay away from anything to do with the pandemic because they are just fire starters in my family. My mother doesn’t believe that COVID-19 is real, so anything related to the topic is bound to start issues,” he adds.

This is especially an issue when it comes to leaving the house for essentials. With stores being out of stock, Bukowski’s mother is always upset with the lack of choices at the stores. Bukowski does not know how to communicate with his mother without making her more upset about the pandemic and its restrictions. 

Ridgely Cohill, 22, is a senior at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. After her school announced that her classes were being moved online, Cohill returned to her home in Belair, Maryland to stay with her mother, father and twin brother.

“I was relieved to go home at first because my spring break was the following week, but then I had no idea what I was supposed to do locked in the house,” Cohill said. Cohill and her brother were adopted from Russia as babies, so both her parents are in their late 60’s. 

"With my parents being older, it means that they are a lot more traditional. They also ask a lot of questions, even if they know it makes me uncomfortable, which was one of my biggest worries for being stuck at home,” said Cohill. 

With Cohill graduating with a degree in Computer Science this spring, the questions mostly had to do with her future. From internships, potential jobs lined up or even her dating life, Cohill was constantly questioned about her future after Washington College. 

Many people may be wondering what they can do when they are stuck with their family during the pandemic. If you’re finding yourself in a sticky situation with family members, here are some tips to follow:

  1. Break the Ice: Try to take control of the conversation before your relatives can. If you’re home from college, you must have some stories ready to go. They’re gonna ask anyways, so at least you get something out of it.

  2. Be Smart: You know your family better than anyone, so try not to bring up topics that you know will start a fight. For some families it’s  politics, someone’s dating life and past arguments. It may seem weird to think ahead, but definitely worth it.

  3. The Mediator: Somehow you start off as neutral, but you’ll eventually say the wrong thing and everyone will start yelling at you. If you’re looking to join the fight, this is your way in! But if you don’t want to be arguing all day long, I’d just let them do their thing and watch from your seat.

  4. Break the Ice Part 2: After a heated argument, it’s sometimes hard to get back into a good place with all of your family. With this, always have a post-fight activity planned! It could be a movie, board game, baking, etc. Anything is better than the awkward silence that you’re probably getting. 


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