OSU Cascades Students Say, “There’s No College in COVID”

College is known for its trials and tribulations, but COVID-19 created a whole new assortment of unprecedented hardships. Oregon State University – Cascades is no exception, going “remote” at the start of the pandemic and attending classes via Zoom. In a new book titled “There’s No College in COVID,” OSU Cascades students share their first-hand experiences navigating college during a pandemic. 

During the 2020 – 2021 school year, former OSU-Cascades creative writing professor Jenna Goldsmith encouraged her freshmen students to write regularly about their academic and personal lives. Goldsmith later collected her students’ journal entries for her book, hoping to spread awareness about what college students have been going through over the course of the pandemic. 

OSU-Cascades interim vice president Andrew Ketsdever said to The Daily Barometer, “The entries show the raw emotions of first-year students as they navigated the global pandemic and their first year in college,” adding that while the book revealed a lot about students’ struggles, it also showed that sometimes, they were able to find a silver lining. 

“Our freshman year wasn’t a normal year,” said second-year student Anya Rozeki, who contributed two of her journal entries to the book. “At the time I was struggling with the fact that I was starting college and I didn’t have any friends” 

“Thinking about the Poliovirus, you look back and think there’s some documentation about it, but it was all logistical—this is more, maybe, emotional,” said poet Wyatt Didway. “This book is really great for people who want to gain some insight into how the general populace handled this time.” 

Rozeki said her grandparents found the book eye opening. “It was a good way to share how COVID-19 did affect us – not only our school lives but our mental health and home lives,” she said. 

“No College in COVID” is now available for purchase at online bookstores like Amazon or Barnes and Noble, and proceeds will be donated to a scholarship fund. Ketsdever encouraged the community to purchase the book and said, “It is fascinating to see their perspectives, not in reflection, but in real-time.” 

By Momoko Baker 

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