On the 23rd of March 2020, there was a directive from the federal government to shut down all schools in order to curb the spread of the Covid-19. Since then, students all over Nigeria have been anxious to resume school. The general question which we do not have an answer to is “when is school resuming?” Many students have had their hopes lifted when rumors (the currency of this season) start flying around about resumption. These hopes are dashed when the federal government refutes these rumors.

The abrupt break has had so many effects on us as students. I, personally, experience varying degrees of motivation from day to day. Some days I wake up ready to take on the world (like the day I wrote this post) and somedays I would want to do nothing but eat and sleep.

It’s very discouraging that there are no provisions whatsoever for continued online lectures and it just brings into the spotlight how underdeveloped the Nigerian educational sector is.

The following people and their experiences with this pandemic period will give you an insight into how Covid-19 is affecting federal University students.

Adebayo Victoria (University of Ibadan)

The pandemic and it’s resulting economic strain has affected me financially.

As a student with no side hustle, I depend entirely on my parents for my financial needs. The pandemic has affected my parent’s source of income which in turn affects me. They don’t see the need to give me an allowance as they normally would, because to them at the moment, with no place to go and no school expenses, I don’t need it. It’s tough o, ask anyone in my situation.

Ebiesuwa Oluwaseyi Gbafun (Ex President, Dramatic Arts student Association OAU)

In normal circumstances i.e. during semester breaks, majority of students find little or no time for their books and instead spend the break having fun. This break though, is different. The first thing anybody (student or not) will seek during a pandemic is survival, how to stay safe rather than “what should I read in preparation for school”

Also some families have come together to be with each other during this period. Most students therefore would take advantage of this to spend quality time with family that they would otherwise not be with.

Another important effect is that some students use school as a refuge away from home due to their home environment not being welcoming. Students like this with no other source of sustenance apart from their family are forced to go home, to the detriment of their emotional health.

Jasper Okorie (University of Lagos)

I run an online crossbody bag business and most of my customer base are my fellow students on campus. As a small business, I wasn’t prepared for this kind of change. Now, I’m just sitting on my hands waiting for school to resume, not because of classes but for my side hustle.

Ogundeyi Funmilayo (Obafemi Awolowo University)

To me, the disadvantages of this pandemic are so much more than the advantages, if there’s any. Almost all goods and services had a price inflation despite the fact that money wasn’t circulating all that well. Also, as I’m sure is the case of many out there as well, I’ve lost concentration on my studies.

Ever since we’ve been at home I can count the number of times I have opened my school books. Funmi

Ifaturoti Rachael (Obafemi Awolowo University)

The pandemic has been emotionally stressful for me and everyday takes on more of the same routine. I spend more time on movies and use more data subscription than I would when I’m in school. The internet has helped me a lot by ways of exploration, but I’ve also engaged in tweets that add less to my life. As a poet, juggling school and poetry together before the pandemic made my poetry suffer, but during this break, I’ve been able to focus more on poetry. I’ve written more poems and I’m participating more in my poet’s association. I feel like the bleak state of the world is reflecting in what I write and this limits me.

At the beginning of the lockdown, I felt a rush of motivation. I started and have almost completed a novel, I tried to workout, but now with no end in sight, that motivation is a bit lacking. Without the external distractions though, I’ve been able to focus more on myself (kind of self therapy) and it’s been a really great process that helped me gather my thoughts and even decide my major field of study.

Emmanuel (Ekiti state University)

My girlfriend and I mostly see each other only when school is in session because we live in different states. With school shutdown and the social distancing nature of the Corona virus, we can’t be together. I really miss her.

Alabi Sharon (Obafemi Awolowo University)

Since the beginning of all this, I use more data subscription than before, because my phone is my window to the world right now. The solitude has given me time to rediscover myself and also learn new things and most importantly to draw closer to God. I took the excess break as an opportunity to work from home and earn some money which helped me sustain the bulk of my data subscriptions as I wasn’t getting any allowance from my parent to help with that.

Another thing this pandemic has affected is my timeline for school. I started a new session at the beginning of this year and was supposed to finish the session by December. I don’t see that happening anymore because we’ve lost so much time. A by effect of this is that upon resumption the timeline will most likely be rushed so as to make up for lost time. This may put pressure on us as students and also affect our extracurricular activities. I also miss social interaction. At east when I go to class I’ll meet people and it’s just sad that there’s no way for us to continue our classes online.

Salawu Priscilla (Obafemi Awolowo University)

Before the pandemic, I was dealing with various issues and putting school into that mix, it was a lot. The social distancing and shutdown of school was a break that I didn’t really know I needed until I got it.

What bothers me sometimes though, is the complete change from what I was used to and lack of activities. Also the pandemic and it’s effects has opened our eyes to a lot of things globally, both positively and negatively. For example, the deficiencies of the healthcare system, especially here in Nigeria.

Conclusion

As I’m sure you’ve noticed from the above examples, effects of the Covid-19 vary from person to person. We all have various ways that we deal with various issues.

Whatever method you’re using to get through this trying time that we’re in globally, I want you to remember not to put pressure on yourself.

It’s okay if you use this period to reflect on yourself, to rest, to pick up a new book, to connect more with your friends and family, to lace up those running shoes, to try out new cuisines, or to experiment new recipes, you name it. Whatever you do DON’T FORGET TO PUT YOURSELF FIRST.

Comment below and let me know what you think.

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