The new normal – Day 14

March 30, 2020

Daraja McDonald, Staff Writer

Editor’s note: “The new normal” is a continuing series that looks into how members of the Los Medanos College community are coping with a shelter-in-place order amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Jhay Roland, a second-year Los Medanos College student and athlete, is currently studying medicine and intends on graduating in the fall. 

As a football player used to being a member of a team, he is a very social person, and said the mandatory social distancing due to the COVID-19 virus has not been an easy transition.

All of Roland’s classes have been moved online, as the campus closed, which has proven difficult, but Roland continues working hard to become successful.

“I am more of a face-to-face learner,” he said. “I have never been good with online classes. It is hard for me to keep track of them all if I am not physically going. They can be really easy to forget.” 

Roland is taking a full load of 12 units and is on track with his educational plan to graduate, and potentially receive a scholarship to play college football when he transfers. But he is, like many other students, a bit concerned about the novel Coronavirus altering the timing of his graduation or his classes.

Given the transition to online learning, Roland said he has become comfortable in his online humanities class in a relatively short time because he has a strong relationship with his teacher. 

But despite his success in humanities, Roland feels his online Statistics class is a bit more of a challenge.

“I like stats because it’s math that I feel like I can actually apply for life, but keeping up with all these formulas might be hard,” said Roland. “I was already struggling in class face-to-face.” 

Even though school is Roland’s number one priority right now, he has other commitments to handle as well. He currently lives on his own and is trying to sort out finances to pay all of his bills during the state-wide shelter-in-place order. 

“I know we are supposed to be on lock down but these bills gotta get paid somehow and I gotta go to work,” said Roland. “I work at Mythology, a new organic food shipping company [and] we have been able to work, but I’m just worried.”

In the free time he has now that practice and schooling is no longer in person, he relaxes with streaming services.

“Since we’ve been inside I just been working out and pretty much have watched everything there is to watch on Netflix,” he said.

Roland, and most students and staff, continue to adjust to their new normal as they wait for more news from the state about the shelter-in-place order and how long it will last.