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'Rise Above': Computing student discusses impact of COVID-19

'Rise Above', Computing student discusses impact of COVID-19

About the author

Taofeek Tolulope Shittu is currently enrolled in Higher Diploma in Computing Science at Griffith College and has previously earned a BEng in Electronics and Electrical Engineering at Bells University of Technology. He is entwined with the art of self-expression through writing, design and photography and has a few published articles on Medium. Other hobbies include; anything sport related, eating and sleeping.

The wave of fear, doubt and uncertainty. The wave of unsettlement hit us in our various settlements. Yes indeed, the pandemic wave hit the world like a tsunami, and we struggled to stay afloat...we struggled to rise above.

This virus that made its debut in 2019 already has more hits than any record label – and for everyone who had high hopes for 2020, it laughed in our faces (so rude!!). It certainly had the first laugh.

My Griffith College experience 

My first semester at Griffith College Dublin started out with loads of excitement and more; young lad in a beautiful new environment and a promise of great opportunities. I was a single tree in a diverse forest of international students. All the nations lived together in harmony - then, everything changed when the Corona-nation attacked.

For all the negative impacts "the Rona" has had in our lives, there are a few positives, one of which is the fact that this pandemic has most likely taught us more about ourselves as humans than anything ever has.

Carbon footprint

Heroes have been born in the shapes of all front-line workers and the unseen back-enders making positive impacts that don’t get noticed. Personal hygiene is at an all-time high and communities have become more united. Technology has risen to the occasion and less travelling has meant that our world has had a little chance to recover from our collective carbon footprint.

Introverts

I made some personal discoveries as well. For starters, I’m not as introverted as I thought; I prefer physical classes but wouldn’t mind having recorded classes as a backup - just in case I doze off during class like I sometimes do. I can actually get tired of my laptop (never thought that would happen), and I don’t hate the idea of writing exams from the comfort of my couch - though it makes the couch less comfortable.

Several times I’d recall the last time I hung out with my friends at the cafeteria and sigh. Everyone knows the rule to social distancing is two meters, but COVID-19 separated people a lot further as scores of people returned to their countries.

Honestly, last semester was becoming very difficult until the most important realisation came to me: “you never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice”. True to that statement, my classmates and I found strength together - on zoom, group chats, over the phone, whatever way we could. Success wasn’t assured but the willingness to fight was a success in itself.

Hybrid learning 

Looking to the future, Griffith College has announced its plans for the autumn semester. They propose a hybrid learning model which includes a blend of physical classes and online learning. In addition, “all lectures will also be captured and recorded to Moodle”. I can’t express my joy at the prospects of some normality returning to our student lives. I feel the coming semester will be even better because we won’t take little things for granted anymore- not even the smile on our lecturers’ faces when they are about to give us that humongous assignment. And we certainly won’t be taking that invitation to a party for granted ever again!

When those gates open, we’ll come flooding in with a wave of excitement and enthusiasm that will certainly rise above whatever waves we’ve previously been struck with….Amen!