New Year, New Fears


Graphic by Erika Sauer

Gracie Burgess, Staff Writer

The start of a new year is always an exciting time. Everything feels fresh and new: new beginnings, new goals, new you. There are new fears as well. So, while it is thrilling for many to look into the future to see new possibilities and opportunities, it can be difficult for others to imagine a positive future. For many, COVID-19 plays a role in those new year fears.

“The pandemic and nearing the end of my time in college brings uncertainty,” FGCU junior Ronny Fray said. “Even so, I’m thankful for the support system I have at FGCU that has enabled me to make it this far, and I am looking forward to finishing strong.”

Many students have had most of, or all, their college experiences impacted by the pandemic. It has made it difficult for students like Fray to enjoy their college years to the fullest. Many students are also concerned about how they will graduate. Will Grad Walk continue into the near future, or will students return to experiencing a traditional graduation ceremony?

“One of my massive fears is the fear of the unknown,” FGCU senior Collette Connolly said. “Being a senior at FGCU and graduating in spring 2022, I’m scared of what I will do after my undergraduate years.”

Many college students and even alumni experience this same uncertainty. There is not always a guarantee that there will be a job waiting for them after graduation. Some students struggle to decide what they want their career to look like post-graduation.

“FGCU has a ton of resources that assist students with internships,” Fray said. “Career development services has several programs that I intend to use to prepare for internships this summer.”

Fray also worries about the more immediate future, namely finding internships. While career development services can help students find internships, they can also help them plan for after graduation. Finding internships, searching for available jobs, and helping to steer students in a positive direction is something students find beneficial about career development services.

“My fears for this year are balancing undergrad involvement, classes, health, and socializing,” FGCU freshman Amit Yitzhak said.

Yitzhak is not alone in this; FGCU senior Alia Oviedo also feels similarly.

“For this upcoming year, I’m scared of Omicron and the amount of work and confusion of balancing life and preparing to continue my journey away from FGCU,” Oviedo said.

College, in general, is a scary time, according to Yitzhak and Oviedo. Many students are outside of their comfort zone and in a new environment. Young people learn a lot of valuable life lessons during this period that can help them prepare for the rest of their lives.

“Take the chance, move away, and get out of your comfort zone,” Connolly said. “All throughout my freshman year, I would cry because I missed home 24/7, but after three years, I realized FGCU was the best thing that has ever happened to me.”

For so many young people, the college experience is one of the most turbulent periods in their life. They are right on the cusp of entering the workforce, faced with major life decisions and milestones. They will have so much on their plate, so many worries, only amplified by COVID-19. FGCU has many resources that can help students conquer their fears during their college journey, whether they’re related to the pandemic, new classes, or other life changes. If you are a college student struggling with these kinds of worries, you are not alone!