Colleges and universities are in crisis, as they hastily cancelled in-person classes and the pandemic drags on. They face huge budget losses with refunds for student fees for housing and food, plus the prospect of students choosing not to enroll for the fall semester with risk of cancellation of in-person classes and events due to the virus. International students may also choose not to enroll which will take its toll on school budgets (read more about the college situation HERE).
Many students are rightly considering transfers to a local or online school or taking a gap year. Families who suddenly find themselves out of a job or jobs, can’t afford to send students away to college. Some graduate students are even finding out that their faculty advisor has been furloughed.
We are in uncharted territory.
Many recent grads are finding out that prized internships have been cancelled or new jobs no longer exist.
Many advisors are suggesting that students who are taking a gap year, plan to do so…however, if lock-downs persist, it may also limit what good resume-building activities students can engage in from home. Budding entrepreneurs may be less hindered than others, especially if they can think of a business of minimal viable product that can be worked on at home. What is true is that many other people are also at home, though, so it may be easier to collaborate or work with another student who’s in the same boat.
Some workplaces aren’t cancelling their internships, but rather just switching their work to online. The experience won’t be the same, but everyone’s in the same boat together and sometimes that can transcend the obstacles. From Market Watch, check out Coronavirus is upending summer internships — how to make your mark if your internship is now virtual.
Also on the plus side, if you otherwise might be self-conscious using accommodations for reading and writing at work, there’s no trouble now if you’re working at home. If you’re new to a job, you could see this as a positive opportunity that you can get used to the type of work in a particular internship while enjoying unfettered access to text to speech, speech to text, and spellcheck and grammar check. By the time you will be heading into the office, you will have developed a workflow that you know can work for you.
If you’d like to read more about potential positives of having a virtual internship, check out What pandemic? How Goldman Sachs and Amazon may bring the office home for these interns.
Parents Working From Home
“My 14 year old is taking French class in bed, my 12 year old is asking for food I don’t have, my 10 year old is refusing to read, and my 8 year old is in my lap while on calls learning to multitask. This is what it really looks like…” – from 3 Hours Longer, the Pandemic Workday Has Obliterated Work-Life Balance (Bloomberg)
Are you trying adjust to the new normal of working at home with a house full of kids?
One helpful article that tackles a variety of family and work situations is:
How to (try to) work from home with kids (in a pandemic) from Poynter.
Designate areas and rules and if you have a number of people in your household, set up schedules where the various members of your family can have relative quiet and low distraction when they are videoconferencing.
If you have young children at home, and no older siblings to watch them, then you may need to tag team supervision in order to get some uninterrupted work done. If some conflict is causing you stress, be unafraid about confronting problems and advocating for a better plan. A great example is when stress was created because students were given assignments that were due by 4 o’clock the same day. If that won’t work for your student or your family (for instance you have to supervise or help and don’t have free time during the day), then request that the rule be changed so that assignments are submitted that evening or the next morning.
Other good advice – communicating well with your colleagues, resetting your work expectations if necessary, and giving yourself as well as others plenty of grace might help you survive this corona time.