Banneker alumni face hardships in college due to the COVID-19 pandemic


Mekhai Morrison-Gaskins, a 2020 graduate, is pictured outside of the University of Rochester.

Jeff Ampedu

With many colleges and universities switching to online classes, some Banneker alumni are missing out on the college experience that they looked forward to this year. Due to this change in teaching style, students aren’t able to get the real college experience they hoped for.

According to the New York Times in September, more than 35 colleges have reported at least 1000 cases and more than 230 have reported more than 100 coronavirus cases.

Two Banneker alumni who are currently enrolled in universities gave their perspective on their college experience.

Mekhai Morrison-Gaskins, a 2020 graduate from Benjamin Banneker High school, and freshman at the University of Rochester in New York state, has found college to be more strict than relaxing. Mekhai also faces the difficulties of online learning and finds it “hard to comprehend and complete things as they are online instead of in-person.”

College is known for its parties and events, however, due to COVID-19 all of these events have been cancelled leaving college students with nothing to do at the same time. To help stay busy during the pandemic, Morrison-Gaskin says, “I hang out with friends on campus and we do work together or we play games at night to keep us from being bored.”

Sophia Evans, a 2017 graduate from Benjamin Banneker High School, and senior at the Penn State University, Harrisburg campus, finds it harder to stay on top of her work using online learning. Sophia says online learning is “extremely different because the teachers go fast.”

“It’s hard to stay on top of work as well because profs just hop on to teach, then log off; they don’t remind us of stuff like how they used to,” said Evans.