College students are facing uncertainty, disrupted schedules and missing out on everything from spring finals and sports seasons to graduation and could use our kindness during these unprecedented times.
Editor’s note: This blog post was ideated and written by one of our very talented interns, who is working virtually for Sahoja. We’re glad to have her perspective and be able to share her ideas here with you.
My senior year of college is beginning to wrap up in an unprecedented way, to say the least. It might not be the ending I always dreamed of – the one where I pick up my cap and gown with my friends, take unlimited amounts of selfies, and finally get to walk across the stage with my family and friends cheering in the crowd. Even then, I am grateful.
I am so grateful and moved by the kindness shown and the opportunities that are being made during the hard times that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought upon us. While lots of wonderful acts of kindness College students sometimes get forgotten or overlooked since we are not children anymore, but also not considered full adults at the same time.
Here are some ways you can share kindness to college students during the COVID-19 crisis.1. Donate to a student relief funds In a matter of weeks students’ world and everything we knew changed. College students were forced out of their dorms, left without work-study jobs, and many of us did not qualify for stimulus checks to rely on. Most colleges and universities have an emergency fund set up, and now more than ever, students are requesting financial help from them. Consider donating to the student relief fund from your alma-mater or the college closest to your hometown. Any amount helps, and a little goes a long way. For an easy way to donate, login to the Sahoja app and give some points to the The Student Relief Fund project. If you aren’t a Sahoja member yet, you’ll earn 10,000 points just for joining that you can donate immediately to the project.
2. Make virtual internships available Internships are a crucial part of the development of a college student. They give us a taste of what life after college is going to be like and help us hone skills crucial to the workforce. They allow us to see if we actually like what we think we like. Most importantly, they give us the opportunity to network and build relationships. Instead of canceling internships, try making your companies internship program virtual. Now more than ever, work from home technology is readily available, and as more and more members of Gen Z come into the workforce, demand for remote positions may increase and become a crucial recruiting tool in the future. You can help shape the next generation of the workforce and provide college students valuable experience by offering or transitioning to virtual internships.
3. Mentoring sessions If virtual internships are not possible or if you are an individual wanting to give back, mentoring sessions would go far to help students facing career uncertainty. College students are hungry for knowledge and thirsty to gain a mentor that will help them break into their dream industry. You can host one on one sessions, small group sessions, or even host a webinar. You can go over everything from resume building and interview techniques, what skills are necessary to break into the industry, the reality of the industry, and just share your personal journey. We often find comfort in knowing someone else went through difficult times, navigated the unknown and are thriving in a successful position now.
4. Virtual job fairs & info sessions The class of 2020 is entering the job market in a time tougher than many other graduating classes have in the past. Let’s face it, getting a job is hard, and interviews can be very intimidating. A job fair for students is a place where we can meet with many companies at the same time and get a flavor for the company culture. It also allows us to get direct information about job opportunities and, in some cases, expedite the interview process, which is a big advantage. For employers, it is a place to find future talent and promote their brand to a valuable market. Consider participating in virtual job fairs and hosting virtual info sessions to get – and keep – your company at the top of student’s minds, while opening their eyes to available opportunities.