TCC student newspaper launches project to document students’ pandemic experiences

April 10, 2020

The Talon, Tallahassee Community College’s student newspaper, is publishing first-hand stories written and narrated by students about their challenges during the global coronavirus pandemic. 

The goal of the project, #TCCInQuarantine, is to highlight the struggles of TCC students, who are finishing the last six weeks of the semester in online classes. Many unexpected and drastic changes have disrupted their future plans.

Second-year TCC student Cameron Johnston, who is from Tampa, said his academic concerns have taken a backseat to his worries regarding his family’s safety. 

“When I think about how the coronavirus has affected my life, the first thing I think about is my pregnant sister and my family’s first-born niece or nephew and first grandchild,” Johnston said. “I probably won’t get to see or hold the baby until the quarantine is over, especially if the baby is born in a hospital.” 

Talon co-editor Anandah Brandy is one of three staffers who has been reviewing and publishing the stories on the newspaper’s website, Brandy is from St. Maarten, a Caribbean Island just east of Puerto Rico. She said her parents are worried about her but she chose not to return home because of concerns that doing so would jeopardize her student visa status, so she decided to stay in Tallahassee.

 “It is important that the Talon publishes these #TCCinQuarantine stories so that other students in self-isolation can see that they are not alone during this time, and that their fellow students, too, are being negatively impacted by this pandemic,” Brandy said. Talon editors are encouraging other students to share their stories. Here is a link to the online submission form:

 Talon co-editor Sophia Ziemer returned home to Miami and is trying to make the best of this situation while completing her remaining classwork.

“All of us in quarantine are suffering but powering through,” Ziemer said.

TCC student Kaitlyn Connell was scheduled to travel to France this summer with her ballet company to perform and conduct workshops. Connell, who has been ballet dancing since she was 3, said she is disappointed her trip has been canceled but she is choosing not to dwell on it.

“Dealing with disappointment is difficult, but it is a crucial life lesson,” Connell said. “We have two options when life does not go our way – we can either wallow in self-pity or we can make the best of it.”

While the majority of the student stories published so far document their fears and concerns, first-year TCC student Amanda Plasencia chose to find a silver lining in this crisis and suggested others do the same.

“With the hustle and bustle of daily life it is difficult to stop and appreciate the little things and take time for yourself,” Plasencia said. “I highly recommend making light of this situation and seeing it as an opportunity to make time for the things you have been missing.”