In what felt like a matter of days, life seemed to have done a complete 180. While for now, this is the "new normal," adjusting to a completely unfamiliar and uncertain life was anything but easy.
Campuses, restaurants, and stores all around the country shut down. Weddings and vacations- canceled and delayed. I, and essentially every college student around the country, was forced to say goodbye to friends and roommates two months earlier than ever anticipated.
When the news first broke that my school was going to be shutting down and moved online for two weeks after break, my first thought was "Awesome! I need a longer spring break anyway." Little did I know, that sitting in a house full of seven of my best friends in the middle of Florida, was going to be the last time I would get to see most of them for another four months as we found out that the rest of the semester would be completely online.
For me, the timing seemed awful. I had just spent a week getting so close to my friends and I was so excited for all the upcoming things this semester had in store: March Madness, a few of my friends' 21st Birthdays, Spring Formal, and so much more. I felt like I had finally found my people, and just like that, we were packing up to say goodbye for the summer.
I knew that sitting in my quiet apartment was a recipe for a lot of loneliness, boredom, overthinking and worry, but moving home would make everything feel so much more real, like my sophomore year was actually over, and that was something I was trying to avoid, so I decided to stay in Lexington.
With the help of Zoom and FaceTime, I was able to talk to all of my friends whenever I wanted. I spent hours upon hours, day after day, sitting on the floor of my apartment with my phone propped up on my coffee table talking to my friends about life. There wasn't a whole lot to catch up on since the whole world around us seemed to be shut down. Because of this, I learned so many random things about my friends and that made me value our friendships and love them even more than I knew was possible.
Luckily for me, a few of my friends stayed in Lexington. I met Haley at the beginning of the year but after sorority recruitment ended, we didn't talk much. I spent lots of nights at Joanna's house but wasn't as close to her as I was to some of the other girls that lived with her.
When things started to feel more under control, I found myself waking up every morning just to go to Joanna's house and spending the majority of my day with her and Haley (from a distance of course ;)). My hammock got so much use on the porch, we watched every episode of Toddlers and Tiaras that Hulu has to offer, and I'm pretty sure I ate more meals with them than I have with my own family. It was a given that I was going to spend the day with them, we were kind of inseparable. Since I wasn't that close to them when this whole thing started, we had so much to talk and learn about each other. I learned so much about them in a matter of weeks and they probably know more about me than they ever wanted to.
In a time full of so much uncertainty, my friendships with both Joanna and Haley was one of the things that got me through every day. Even though we don't know how much longer this will go on, knowing that I will see my friends who aren't here in just a few short weeks, gives me so much to look forward to. While it might sound crazy to say, quarantine has given me some of the best and most fulfilling friendships I have… and also given me every reason to never take for granted another night with all of my friends sitting on the same couch.