Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2021

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Integrated Marketing Communication

First Advisor

Mark Dolan

Second Advisor

Cynthia Joyce

Third Advisor

Marquita Smith

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

This study analyzes the effects of COVID-19 on students at the University of Mississippi. For students, COVID-19 changed the landscape of education, with classes and jobs going online. Students who graduated in May 2020 entered a poor job market and many ended up going to graduate school instead of finding a job. Access to medical and professional help was limited at the very beginning, with offices not taking patients or moving appointments to virtual only. This would require that each student needing help had to have access to quality internet service, which wasn’t always guaranteed, thus producing additional challenges.

These chapters, including a robust literature review of relevant sources, as well as a personal essay, consist further of interviews with students and mental health counselors conducted over the span of several months. These interviews were conducted and recorded over Zoom. The interviews were conducted with individuals who traveled in similar social circles as me. These previously existing relationships allowed the conversation to go deeper than before and allowed new levels of relationship. Emerging from these conversations were six overlapping themes: the importance of family, the need for health over career, the challenge of isolation, struggles with virtual education, assessing mental health, and facing the reality of a bright future not promised. Their revelations of deep academic challenges and fears about the future amid stories of devastating personal loss, produces a striking and complex picture of emerging strength.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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