COLUMN: COVID-19 is a hindrance, not an excuse


Ellen Dooley

Ellen Dooley, Columnist

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has affected all of us in some way or form. We all missed life milestones and experiences. It has impacted how we learn and grow. One thing that will be impacted for years to come is education. 

There are so many abnormalities that will be deeply rooted in young children’s education that may not be uncovered until they are much older. There are also some things that are surface level. Perhaps a student must wait another year to pick out an instrument for beginning band. Maybe there was a big science fair that a student did not get to participate in.

One bigger problem, perhaps more behavioral, is students blaming COVID-19. They tend to use COVID-19 as an excuse. For example, a teacher may ask a student why they did not achieve a higher grade on an assignment. The student may blame it on online learning. There is no excuse. Unless the instructor is actively choosing not to hold virtual help sessions or office hours- there is no excuse.  

My local junior college has been holding online classes for years before COVID-19. There are colleges that are completely online, and students achieve their degree online. People have been online or remote learning for years. Now, does everyone succeed this way? Absolutely not.  

Students who struggled in person probably struggled the most online. They lost all connections or progress made because of the lack of programs to help them succeed. They now just have a teacher on a screen telling them these strategies rather than being hands on in a one-on-one session.  

The most important thing for those struggling in the time of learning with COVID-19 is that this is just a frame of time. This is not the end. This is just a hinderance of your overall journey. Yes, it is a very long list of synonyms for annoying, but you will overcome. If you keep in sight what is possible and what your goals are, you will survive this.  

If we all used COVID-19 as an excuse, the whole world would stop. There would not be any progress in solving this worldwide pandemic. There would be no grocery store workers, no teachers teaching, or even doctors or scientists. This is just another bump in the road of life that we must endure.  

The question is do you ride it out? Or do you swerve into a ditch? The choice is yours to make. You are in charge of how you deal with COVID-19. You are in charge of your education, success, and even failures. This has not been easy, but we have made it this far. If you can navigate through these challenging years, you can navigate the seven seas of the world.

Ellen Dooley is a sophomore special education standard major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].