College students facing challenges due to outbreak

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Many college students are returning home to the Capital Region during their final semesters with unanswered questions and concerns about meeting their final requirements for graduation.

Emily Dick is a SUNY Cortland senior who studies inclusive childhood education. She came back home to East Greenbush after her school cancelled in-person classes for the rest of the semester.

“No one is back to school at all so now I really have to go back out and pack up my entire apartment,” Dick said.

She says for her major, distance learning has extra complications because she’s supposed to be student teaching.

“It’s been a disaster trying to figure out what they’re going to do with us student teachers because we have certification exams,” she said. “We don’t know which school we’re going to be teaching with, if any at all.”

Another student is facing similar challenges.

Stefanie Defronzo is coming back to the Capital Region soon. She is a senior boichemisty and molecular biology major at Drew University in New Jersey.

Distance learning has proven to be tough for Defronzo as she will not have access to her school’s laboratory.

“I worked in a lab with a professor all four years here to write and defend a thesis, and now I’m not going to be able to defend that thesis in person,” she said.

Commencement also up in the air. A virtual ceremony and an in-person ceremony are to take place when the CDC Guidelines allow for it.

The university sent out an email to students to survey which they would prefer but Defronzo still wondders about the expenses that she and her friends already paid for the traditional ceremony.

“We all had to register already and I think most of us ordered our cap and gown already, and we are all wondering, like, are we going to be able to return it if we don’t have a ceremony?”

While these students are sad about the the changes coronavirus has brought to their senior year, both are disappointed with how some people their age don’t seem to be taking the pandemic seriously.

“When you’re young you don’t really want to pay attention and follow the rules but you never know who or what your actions could affect,” Defronzo said.

“There are people who have died from this,” Dick added.”If that happens to somebody they’re not going to be able to go on trips or take vacations so we just have to do what they’re telling us I think.”

Students should check with their respective colleges to see whether they will be offering refunds on room and board and meal plans.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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