Different experiences SJCC had with COVID-19

The adverse effects on the faculty and students

Credit: Getty Images/Hemera

Creator: Vladyslav Makarov

Credit: Getty Images/Hemera

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the SJCC community in different ways.

According to some, the pandemic has completely changed their lives. As for others, the pandemic served them a positive experience.

Elisse Reyna, a case manager who provides health services at SJCC, said that she feels the pandemic has completely changed all our lives.

“Everything I did before the pandemic has changed. For example, I work from home now and in a situation like this, you can feel isolated from the world,” Reyna said.

Reyna said that simple things are not enjoyable like before and that the pandemic created obstacles in her work field.

“To combat the new found struggles of the pandemic, I’ve integrated flexibility by adapting to a new way of working. Another important thing for me was to create a functioning work space because now my house is everything,” Reyna said.

Reyna said that focusing on self-care is crucial, even if it’s a simple gesture like waking up early or making coffee to incorporate better habits.

According to the United Nations’ website, “…the COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in history, affecting nearly 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries and all continents.”

Vanessa Tran, a 19-year-old journalism major at SJCC, said that she felt the pandemic-related stress has affected her everyday life.

“Although I like school online, some things can be more vague such as assignments and announcements. Even though a professor is an email away, it would just be better if I got to speak to them in-person to allow them to teach me hands on,” Tran said.

The lack of tangible representation when it comes to her learning was a concern for her, she said.

“I handle my stress by talking to my friends and telling them what’s on my mind. I also like to journal my notes and thoughts whenever I feel like I’m stressed,” Tran said.

While Tran’s concern and stress were more of a result from the classroom, another student’s story differs a bit.

Louis Vibanco, a 20-year-old student at SJCC who said he is passionate about sports, has dealt with his share of stress as a direct result of the pandemic.

“The pandemic has taken sports away, and as an athlete it has been really tough to just sit at home instead of participating in athletics,” he said.

Sports play a big role in Vibanco’s life and the feeling of not being able to play was devastating, he said.

According to a survey conducted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association on May 1, 2020, “More than one-third of the 37,658 athletes involved described having sleep difficulties, more than one-quarter experienced feeling sadness or a sense of loss.”

“During the pandemic I have made an attempt to stay in shape by buying weights and just working out at home, also by playing video games,” Vibanco said.

Vibanco said he has found ways to keep himself productive and used his spare time to do other activities that he enjoys.

Bryson Williams, a 19-year-old psychology major at SJCC, is on the other end of the spectrum.
Williams has not been affected by the pandemic, he said.

“I haven’t felt pandemic-related stress at all. I would say the pandemic has actually helped,” he said.

Williams said he had a different outlook based on his experience.

“I don’t have stress to handle,” he said. “Oddly enough for me I would say life has gotten better since the pandemic.”

For those feeling stressed in general, Reyna’s help goes beyond academics. With the help she provides, she said she wants students to feel supported.

“It’s easy to feel scattered right now and even singled out,” she said.

Students can reach Reyna through Google Voice, by texting or calling (408) 780-8497, or via email at [email protected].