Before spring break, I didn't think much of all the cancellations around me. Until it came to me. My classes all got moved online, all my last events were canceled, and my college graduation. Here is how COVID changed my life.
1. I lost all my "lasts."
My organizations had their last few events planned before break. Now, they're gone. Nothing is more disappointing than not getting to soak in all those last moments before graduation (which is now being postponed). My ministry had a spring break mission trip, which was called off two days beforehand. Instead of spending my break serving a college in Texas and Mexico, I stayed in.
2. I lost a lot of leisure activities.
I had plans to see some friends upon my return from break, but had to postpone with the quick spread of the virus. My ability to head to the student union to get Starbucks before class or meet up with friends disappeared. Now, I can't go and pet random dogs I see due to physical distancing.
3. I felt lonely.
I found out I was waitlisted before the spread, which already dampened my mood. I stayed in too much and spent too much time on my phone over break, which caused my anxiety to rise, and caused me to break down. Several friends moved out of their dorms, and I couldn't get together with people in person. With the order, it's limiting in-person contact even further. My "Have a good break" exchanges with people became "Goodbyes" with COVID and all the sudden move-outs.
4. I lost my go-to study spots.
The campus library closed, which was where I studied often. I also loved going to coffee shops. The shops closed, except for to-go orders. My ability to bounce from spot to spot vanished in only a matter of days. My motivation flew south (which already happened plenty enough with the case of senioritis I had before).
5. I was robbed of the chance to tour graduate schools.
My plans after break were to figure out dates to visit some grad school programs. Instead, they closed. It's hard to experience the vibes of the towns without physically being there. Now, virtual tours and calls are how I'll fill that void.
6. I lost services.
I was receiving speech therapy twice a week on campus. Over break, I got a call that sessions were canceled the rest of the semester. Nothing is more haunting knowing that our "Have a good spring break" exchanges were going to be "Goodbyes" instead. I no longer get to see my clinician who encouraged me each session. Most of the time, I took exams at a clinic downtown for my accommodations for extended time and distraction-reduced setting. The clinic is no longer open, which means I have to resort to Lockdown Browser at home. I physically can't go into the Counseling center anymore, either. COVID-19 is an inconvenience for college students already, but can be even more so for students with disabilities or mental health issues.
7. I lost the classroom.
I learned best being in class. I didn't go to class on the last day before break due to how anxious and depressed I felt. A small part of me sometimes wished I had sucked it up and went.
8. I lost my campus jobs.
The daycare I work at closed. I miss the energy the students brought. I was a lab assistant for a student needing accommodations in class. Now, classes are online and I don't get to see them.
9. I lost campus life.
I could no longer walk all over campus like I was used to for class, studying, work, etc. I was always on the go. My structure disappeared. I lost the livelihood of how busy campus was.
Check on the students in your life, especially high school and college seniors.