Felicia Garcia, Human Development

Students find silver lining in their unprecedented COVID summers

Many college students relax over the summer, especially during the COVID pandemic.

Not Felicia Garcia.

While getting ready for her junior year studying Human Development and Family Studies, Garcia had an interesting “COVID summer.” She juggled more than work and school. She is married, is a mother of two and held down a full-time job.

This summer, she worked security at local mills, forcing her to quarantine from her children.

“There was a time the kids were at my parents’ house for a month because, where my husband and I worked, we did not want to expose the virus to the kids,” explained Felicia. “It was hard not to be able to hug my kids or play with them.”

The situation – not seeing her kids, working long shifts – depressed her and made sleeping difficult.

But Garcia said the family had some good experiences, too.  For example, her kids enjoyed the time spent with Garcia’s parents. 

“We went to our grandma and grandpa’s pool to swim, we watched family videos and talked about family memories,” said her son Matthew.

Plus, the family bought its first home.

“We had been living with my parents for a while, so we needed to find a place of our own,” Garcia said.

As the summer ended, she had to adjust her schedule to accommodate classes – both her own and those of her two kids, who are taking classes from home. She has to help them and has become their “teacher.”

“It’s really different because one kid has her school through a daycare that is done remotely,” she said. “Then I have one kid who is in an elementary school and it is hard to help him, especially with math.”