Pandemic Economy Causes Many Struggles for Students

Elisa Peregrina, Staff Writer

COVID-19 factors are affecting everyone’s daily lives in a myriad of ways, including financial responsibilities. Yet, everyone’s experiences are different. Some students lost their jobs permanently. Others were furloughed and returned to vastly different workplaces, while others have still been working more than ever.

Ryan Narine is a 20-year-old psychology major and a homeowner. “Being a young homeowner is already stressful on its own but becoming one through the pandemic has added a lot to my plate,” he said. “I never stopped working, being that I work for Santander Bank, but our work styles have changed drastically.”

Education major Lauren Harrington does not own a home but still has been greatly affected by the pandemic-related economic turndown. “Being that I worked at TJMaxx, the stores were temporarily closed for about three months. I live at home with my mom, so it didn’t affect my living situation, but it did in other ways. I pay for my bills, school, and am responsible for myself. Truthfully, we only got paid for a month of being furloughed. It was rough.”

Although some people were lucky to keep their jobs through these challenging times, there were other factors that took a toll. Many people are high-risk based on their own health or the health of family members, so the impact of this new scheduling is much more far-reaching.

“My family is high-risk, and I have had to isolate myself from them because I am exposed every day. On top of that it is scary because if I am exposed, when I quarantine, who’s going to pay my bills?” Narine said.

Many schools, including Brookdale, moved to online learning. Even though online classes benefit people in the sense that you can learn from the comfort of your own home, it has its limitations.

“When I went back to work and had to balance school, it posed a challenge,” Harrington said. “My job’s scheduling has changed due to the staffing that was cut per the pandemic. Having to do online classes, a lot of classes are more limited. Having more limits on the range of class times and days and altering my work schedule has caused a lot of conflicts.”

The pandemic is far from over, as new, more easily transmissible strains are constantly being discovered and pandemic-related regulations change regularly.

Students have all been affected differently, and some continue to live in fear, whether medically or financially.

“All I can say is that it can’t be over soon enough,” Harrington said.