As I set off to Starbucks to do my homework today, the world felt weird. We are all uncertain and scared. Schools and businesses closing has devastated us, and we need help. Family and friends, WE NEED HELP.
I left my apartment already in somewhat of a haze. Unsure what would await me on campus, I tried my best to stay calm. As I got closer I saw streets that were once filled with cars trying to find a spot close to the library empty. A moment later I saw cars parked on the streets instead as parents picked up their children and transported all of their belongings to their car. I saw sulking from dorms to cars, instead of the typical joy that is experienced when students leave for breaks. I got lost in thought until I almost missed my stop.
Getting off the bus, I saw the sorority quads. What was likely an exciting month as many of these girls received their "littles" quickly became a devastating time of having to say goodbye to members of their sisterhood, without as much as a goodbye. I saw students walking from Starbucks, and my first thought was "hopefully their food and drinks aren't infected."
When I got here, after opening the doors I realized that I should have used the accessible button instead of touching two doors. But as I walked in, things began to feel a little normal. Sure there were parents and families and only two workers, but this is Starbucks, it's my happy place.
I began my homework, though I struggled to focus. Every time I read one page, I started thinking about life again. So, instead of focusing, I began looking around. I observed the other students, and over time, I started feeling the heaviness of the air in the room.
To the left, a girl looked up her high school and read a news article. Later I saw her wiping away tears. The girl with her asked suggestions about how to have a meeting for her club from home. When single people walked in, they paused for a moment, looking around with a sad gaze. As they found their friends, the sadness disappeared, finally finding a small sense of normalcy. A girl to my right called to ask about rentals: if she will not be returning, should she turn them in before leaving campus? But how, then, does she study for the remainder of the year? The news of closing Starbucks, restaurants, etc., many peoples' last claim to normalcy, started circulating, and quickly the sense of panic increased in the room.
Still, we all kept our cool. We all kept studying, writing, and reading. But no one has relaxed, even at the moment in which I write this article. Somber faces and demeanors fill this room, a room that was a place of progress and friendship only a week ago.
The only way I know to get through this is to write. So I will write. I will write my truth and I will write for others until the day that this might be taken from me as well.
Please help the students, we need help.