A new collection of writings, There is No College in COVID, provides a glimpse into the thoughts of first-year college students navigating the pandemic.  

Jenna Goldsmith
Dr. Jenna Goldsmith

“I’m a big believer in both the power of writing for one’s mental health and for moving audiences,” said editor Dr. Jenna Goldsmith, the assistant director of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Illinois State University. “This project provides a compelling window into the lives of these students.” 

The full title of the book is There is No College in COVID: Selections from the Oregon State University-Cascades Journaling Project (Parafine Press). The work features writings submitted by 28 students taking a college-preparedness course taught by Goldsmith, who was a writing instructor at Oregon State University Cascades at the time.  

Students responded with highly personal insights into the emotional and mental challenges of the pandemic. Weaving a common theme of uncertainty, they expressed frank struggles with fears, confusions, and loss as well as a newfound appreciation for the simple pleasures of life. 

“I wanted these students to have a record of their experience at this time, and I wanted them to have an outlet for their feelings, said Goldsmith, who noted that all proceeds from the book will go toward supporting scholarships at her former institution. 

There is No College in COVID is available now.