The pandemic is affecting different people in different ways. Some people have lost their jobs, others experienced loneliness and loss, yet, others discovered new things about themselves or learned new hobbies. The International Student Association (ISA) officers are dedicated to hearing the voice of MUSC’s international students. The stress of facing the pandemic as an international student is compounded by being far away from one’s home country and family. As such, the ISA organized an essay writing competition, that would serve as an exercise for the students to express their emotions and personal experience. They created three essay topics under the theme of COVID-19 that ranged in topic from the concrete effect of this pandemic on their lives to an abstract expression of how they view the future impact of this event. The students were given the opportunity to write a 1500-word essay on one of the three following topics:
1. As an international student, reflect on your experience of being in a pandemic away from your home country.
2. Discuss the long-term effects of COVID-19 on society (e.g. human interactions, career choices, tourism…)
3. For the fiction lovers: It is the year 2120 and a high school student is immensely interested in what happened 100 years ago and how it cultivated the way life is in 2120. The floor is yours to be creative and write a fictional story revolving around that student and taking place in 2120.
The essays were scored by three judges based on content, creativity, structure, flow and need for the financial reward. We were extremely pleased with the engagement and positive feedback we received from the students. They all reported how nice it was to share their stories, be it fictional or not. We are proud of how talented our fellow students are, and we are excited to share the essays of six participants who agreed to let us share their writing.
You can read the winner's essays here.