Matthew Walker IV, Contributing Writer
Imagine graduating into a jobless economy. Sadly, many graduating college seniors won’t have to imagine that.
It is the goal of most college students to make a life for themselves independent of their parents’ influence upon graduation. Sadly, COVID-19 will prevent thousands of students from achieving that goal.
As a second semester sophomore at Morehouse College, I never saw myself returning to the rural town of Williamsburg, Virginia, for any extended period of time. I had summer plans in Atlanta which included a place to stay, a steady income flow and a means of transportation. Countless other students are in my position. We are having to halt the momentum that we have been working so hard to generate.
In the first three weeks of quarantine, terms like “cabin fever” have become all too recognizable. As a person who suffers from claustrophobia, and benefits greatly from going out to decompress, I can attest to the toll solitude can take. The scariest part to me is the uncertainty.
Being locked in the house has taught me about my tendency to get irritable when I am alone for too long. It has also taught me the importance of personal space. My stepdad wisely said, “pick your corner, and relax” as soon as my sibling and I returned from school.
My stepdad was able to predict the long-term effect of all of us being under the same roof for an extended period of time. He understood the physical and psychological effect of being caged in. This is the lesser of the issues regarding the virus.
More importantly, my stepdad has been able to paint a picture of how this pandemic will shape our lives upon graduation.
“COVID-19,” he said, “will cause more people to move back in with their parents than anything else in the last 50 years. Make sure it isn’t you all.”
I asked my brother, a second semester senior at Morehouse, how he felt about the situation.
“I’m really only upset about missing graduation,” he said. It has been postponed until December 2020.
Personally, I know that moving back home is the last thing that I imagined for myself. If I were my brother, having worked so hard in school would seem like watering a fruitless tree; a waste of time. For this reason, I have chosen to take this pandemic very seriously to ensure a timely return to regularly scheduled programming.