For context: We ran a contest asking all the students on OddJobbers, the same question: How is COVID-19 affecting you as a college student? Here is the response from our winner.
The transfer to online course deliverance has been chaotic to say the least.
If I would’ve known that my last final that Friday before spring break would be the last time I’d see my professors and fellow students in person again, I would’ve walked a bit slower and took it all in.
Time after time I’ve learned that I take things for granted, and I never really know what I have until it’s gone. High school senior me walked onto Gonzaga’s campus bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to find my ~home~ and was instantly drawn in by the community that I was welcomed by. That same community became the aspect of GU that was hardest to let go once things really hit the fan this semester. The shift from in-person to online really emphasized the fact that GU is the school it is because of the community and the in-personal connection that is fostered. Friends went from being just a short walk in the Logan away to a scheduled zoom/ FaceTime call that may or may not cut out at inopportune times due to weak Wi-Fi.
The new normal that we’ve had to collectively adapt as a society has felt anything but normal. These days it feels like the highlight of my life has been heading to Trader Joes or walking past empty student homes on the way to the centennial trail to get some air. At first, the stillness was hard to come to terms with, but I’ve begun to find comfort in the slow pace that this transition has brought. I’m someone who has always been involved in different extracurricular activities, and the cancellation of in person life hit me like a freight train. For the first couple of weeks, I was consumed by my anxiety and trying to figure out what the upcoming weeks would look like and struggled to handle my depression when it truly felt like I had no purpose since everything that I had worked on and waited for was quickly getting cancelled. Social media didn’t help much really as I found myself endlessly scrolling through posts about people finding ways to still be productive or almost competing over who could come out of quarantine with the best body. It was really easy to feel like I was doing absolutely nothing and contributing nothing to society. As time passed and I tried to make sense of all that was happening around me, I realized that we are collectively struggling, and that productivity and success look different these days- and that’s okay.
In the midst of the pandemic and chaos around all of us, I’ve found comfort in the memories. The things that I clung onto a mere couple of months ago no longer seem to mean as much as I thought they did. This quarantine has taught me to appreciate the small things like hugs and handshakes and that the uncertainty of everyday life is something to make life worth living. I have a lot of hope for what comes after all of this, although I’m not sure any of us know what it’ll look like.
I believe that bad doesn’t last forever and it’s a fresh piece of optimism amongst the sad that I've chosen to hold onto.
Gonzaga Student Body Association President
Gonzaga University '20
Some photos from my COVID-19 experience