January came and we were invincible. We as college students think nothing can shake us to our cores besides two things: midterms and final exams. However, those next few months tested our patience and ultimately, rocked our worlds.
When March hit in the United States, things began to head downhill. The first case hit, then the second case, and soon, the numbers of coronavirus cases began to skyrocket. People were panicking. Toilet paper was gone. Hand-sanitizer was imaginary. Masks became the new accessory. Basically life in general was changed forever. As the world was thrown into turmoil, so was the educational system. School-age kids were soon sent home and most were told, "have a great summer." However, for college kids this began a new chapter, something most of us were not ready to experience. Very few colleges decided to remain open, which meant, most decided to close. For me, I had left school at spring break and did not know that would be the last time I would see my friends for a duration of around six months. I got the email the day before I was suppose to go back from spring break that gave us another two weeks then it would be re-evaluated. Let's just say that evaluation was like 99% of colleges that took the measures of nothing on campus, move back home, and everything was on ZOOM. Basically everything in the world was changing and no one knew what to do.
The days turned into weeks and the weeks into months and soon, the coronavirus had us all going stir-crazy. Everything was shutdown and some to the day still is. Colleges finished online and many seniors never saw their name called or their diploma in hand. Now here we are in the middle of October, almost in the same boat. Some of us on campus, some of us off-campus. But 95% of us in the same college: ZOOM University. I have people say to me all the time why don't you love being online, it has to be easier than being in-person. With a hard eye-roll and fake smile, I say no. Being online is not easier. It's harder. We are given more work to do in a matter of two days than we would be given in two weeks. We are expected to crunch material into a shorter amount of time without actually getting to learn it in-depth like normal. BIG THING: We are expected to form some type of relationship with people off of a webcam, when we cannot meet them in person because some universities are banning gatherings all-in-all.
I know right now, in the world we live in, college kids are the last people probably one your mind. From a political race to a deadly, world pandemic, everyone thinks we are just party-hardy-know-it-all-arrogant-selfish-young-adults. Well don't be a Karen, because I promise you 90% of us are struggling to juggle online school, work, keeping our grades up for our future career, and keeping ourselves healthy in the pandemic. We all just want the same thing: to keep each other safe, healthy, happy, and loved. If you think online school isn't hard, I will let you take my organic chemistry and three biology class that are all online and see how you think it works (p.s. - none of them were formatted to be online). We all have high anxiety as we adapt to this new normal. Some of us being freshman. Some of us being transfer students. Some of us being seniors wishing the last year of "the best four years" wasn't online.
At the end of the day, this isn't just for college students, just go tell someone you love them because everyone needs to hear it every once in a while. Tell you best friend, you neighbor, your mom, your grandma, or even tell that random person on the street. We're all struggling right now. We're all experiencing something that no one has ever experienced practically in their lifetime. We're all struggling, some more, some less, however, just tell a college kid you love them, you appreciate them, or even just ask them how they're doing. I promise it will mean more than you will ever know.
So make the rest of 2020 count (safely, healthy, and masked up when needed) and just like the cover photo presents, the countdown is on to 2021 <3