Compiled by Oleksandr (Sasha) Kondrashov, Ph.D., RSW
Thank you for voicing your concerns. My words of thanks are going to all students. Your stories and experiences are unique. I hope universities around the world will listen and adequately respond to your concerns. I want to thank you all for finding the courage to share your worries when asking for an extension, when you needed someone to listen, when you just needed to Zoom in!.
- To the first-year students all the way through to Masters and Ph.D. students, domestic or international, part-time or full time, who entered the Winter 2020 term
- To the student and recent graduates who were looking toward internships and jobs over the summer
- To the student caregivers who provide extra care to their dependant family members during the pandemic
- To the student in public and private schools who are required to fund their education
- To the student parents who are required to become teachers for their kids when schools are closed.
- To the student who cannot attend the in-person convocation ceremony which has been cancelled or postponed
- To the student who cannot receive an extension and struggle to meet the deadlines
- To the student who cannot return home due to travel restrictions
- To the student who does now know how to fund their future education
- To the student who doesn’t have a relationship with their parents or doesn’t feel comfortable going home or are financially independent now
- To the student who experienced other unforeseen circumstances, they could not have planned for
- To the student who experiences an unexpected change in living situation
- To the student who experiences depression due to social isolation
- To the student who experiences financial hardship due to COVID-19 outbreak
- To the student who experiences more general stress and anxiety while navigating the unknown remote learning environment
- To the student who experiences personal illness or illness or death in the family
- To the student who faces barriers to accessing online classes and exams
- To the student who feels frustrated and uncertain about future studies or post-graduation plans
- To the student who is postponing their studies as universities cannot offer required practicum to complete degree requirements
- To the student who is adapting to new campus culture, learning style or city as a result of campuses closures
- To the student who is expected to show up for class and write the scheduled exam at a specific time
- To the student who is faced with an exceptional medical situation as a result of COVID-19
- To the student who is finding new ways to cope with feelings of isolation, loneliness or depression
- To the student who is forced to create a unique balance between personal and academic priorities
- To the student who is looking for free wifi to submit their final paper
- To the student who is online or distance education student and whose voices were not heard on campuses around the world
- To the student who is postponing a return to their communities and provide needed supports as their classes have been cancelled
- To the student who is postponing their studies to take care of their well-being
- To the student who is required to write more papers as a result of COVID-19 to demonstrate their knowledge while their instructor has limited experience teaching remotely
- To the student who is unable to have funds transfer out of the country
- To the student who lost their income due to COVID-19
- To the student who lost their loved ones due to COVID-19
- To the student who lost their temporary jobs and currently looking for ways to buy groceries while studying for final exam
- To the student who manages tensions with family members, friends and instructors to complete course requirements.
- To the student who suffered from the devaluation of a country’s currency
- To the student who suffers multiple losses from going to universities in 2020 due to pandemic
- To the student who was denied emergency benefits as their concern is deemed ineligible for assistance
- To the student who was unable to complete courses and is looking for supports
- To the student who had the supports to complete courses in winter 2020
Thank you for voicing your concerns. Thank you for advocating for others. Thank you for taking care of yourself. Thank you for your dedication to your studies. Thank you for your desire to learn. Thank you for your support of your instructors, your universities as they transition to remote learning. Thank you for demanding adequate supports during a pandemic. Thank you for being you.
Every day, students keep learning to ensure their communities will have future professionals to innovate, share their knowledge and skills and build a better world for all. Every day, students show up more capable, stronger, and braver than the day before, as we all do.
My name is Sasha. I am a social work educator. I have heard my student’s stories on managing their studies during the pandemic. I am hopeful universities find ways to provide an adequate learning environment in times of pandemic to all students and attend to their needs to become our future leaders, innovators and trailblazers in their chosen fields of study.
To students around the world keep learning and sharing your knowledge. We need your expertise now and in the future.
To class 2020, thank you for all your work and your commitment to complete your studies when possible. We will celebrate one day in person with you whenever it is safe to do.
Copy and paste on your newsfeed, add your name to the list, share your story, make your voice heard. Can we get to 50 reasons to say thank you to students during a pandemic? Support students in their studies. Together we will build a healthier future for all of us.