“WHAT IT’S LIKE BEING A COLLEGE STUDENT TODAY” By SHRUSTI GOSWAMI, Rutgers Sophomore with Intro by Editor Calvin Schwartz
EDITOR’S NOTE: Trying to be brief. I met Rutgers sophomore (Journalism & Media) Shrusti Goswami this past January (bcd=before Covid ). I’ve been part of a mentor-mentee program for several years at Rutgers; Road to Industry Programs- Career Exploration and Success. Shrusti and I sat down At Henry’s Diner on campus, in January, and outlined our semester’s work beginning with a discussion on networking, LinkedIn, social media. We reconvened in February and then the lock-down, but continued via cell. Shrusti is a wonderful expressive writer; I shared her article “How Growing Up as a Child of Immigrants Challenges Individualism vs. Collectivism” on LinkedIn to substantial readership. https://www.herculture.org/blog/2019/9/23/how-growing-up-as-a-child-of-immigrants-challenges-individualism-vs-collectivism
Then last week, a light bulb incandescent; as we were speaking, I thought it propitious if she’d write a short article on her experience being a college student, with her world suddenly on hold, frozen in time. It was my observations these seven weeks being homeward bound, reading for hours a day about Covid and concluding OUR college “kids” are going to need more support (beyond financial) than any other generation in earth’s long history. So, NJ Discover is taking a small step. To be continued.
Calvin Schwartz, 5-7-20
“WHAT IT’S LIKE BEING A COLLEGE STUDENT TODAY”
By SHRUSTI GOSWAMI
Blog Writer, Peer Tutor, and Journalism & Media Studies Student at Rutgers University
When I started the second semester of my sophomore year this January, nothing could have prepared me for what was coming next. Barely two months later, all classes are taught remotely. I’ve completely moved out of my apartment, and my new favorite place to study is my bedroom. To put it frankly, life is strange. But amidst all that is changing in the world, my schoolwork has remained relatively consistent. So, is this a positive or negative aspect of the pandemic? Let’s explore together
At first, I liked that all my classes were sticking to schedule. At home, it’s so easy for me to fall back into my “summer schedule,” that is, sleeping in until lunch and staying up all night watching movies with my sister. So, having my classes meet at the same time and keep the same due dates could help me stay on track for the rest of the semester. As the semester comes to a close, I agree with my past self that having my classes meet at the same time helped me keep a routine. But an unforeseen side effect of having the same deadlines and amount of work was that work would take over my whole life. C. Northcote Parkinson, a twentieth-century scholar, once said that work expands to fill the time available for its completion. I should’ve seen this coming because, honestly, I have nothing else to do! Or at least, nothing that seems as important. While I lived on campus and had to attend classes in person, my time would be spread between assignments, catching up with friends over food, listening to music as I rode my third crowded Rutgers bus of the day, etc. But, as it inevitably turns out, the trip to my bathroom and back only takes a few minutes away from study time.
While it may appear positive that I’m studying more, it’s much harder to focus during class and exams at home. And I’m not alone. Countless friends and classmates feel the same pressure to work all day but also don’t feel better about themselves for being so “productive.” This whole experience has challenged my idea of productivity. To me, it’s always been quantitative. How many hours did I work and how many assignments did I get done? But now, everything has changed. I’m trying to measure my productivity on a different scale, one that includes connecting with friends, researching health updates and how I can make a difference, and having some “me” time. It’s been a challenge, partly because working also takes my mind off the messy state of our world. But overworking certainly hasn’t been making me happy.
Being a student now is not what I signed up for. But I’ve been trying to make the best of it. I just miss not worrying about the health of my family, friends, and classmates. I miss making college memories and connecting with people, whether that be meeting someone new at a school event or laughing all night long with my best friends. But I’ve been trying a new tactic to keep me motivated, one that I hope you can use in your life as well! Every day, I just think of one thing I’m grateful for when I wake up. It centers me and allows me to remember that once all this is over, I’ll never take any of these things for granted ever again.
CONTACT SHRUSTI GOSWAMI LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shrusti-goswami-099597179/
CONTACT CALVIN SCHWARTZ LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/calvin-schwartz-866a805/