How has this affected you and/or your loved ones?
All I can think of right now in this time of quarantine is “wow”. Wow, I did not think I was going to be living through a worldwide pandemic. Wow, I cannot believe this virus has changed the lives of millions of people all around the world. Wow, this massive event in history is taking place during my lifetime. I have talked to friends and family members from all over the world and they have never seen anything like this before. Not only has this impacted my personal life, but it has also impacted my daily life and the way in which I learn at UNC. I know that millions of students are being affected by online learning during this time of social distancing. During this time, we have been stripped away from our friends, our in-person learning experience, our clubs and extracurriculars, and even our community network on campus.
I know this has been particularly hard for me because I grew up in a town of fewer than 6,000 people in rural Pennsylvania. I had finally gotten adjusted to living in the somewhat large college town of Chapel Hill. I had finally developed many friendships that I knew were going to last far beyond college. I knew where the best studying spots were for me. I knew how to accomplish my goals given the resources and accessibility to many things that I had on campus. All of a sudden, that was all taken away from me and I had to return to the small town in which I grew up to live with my family again. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family more than anything in the world, I just wasn’t expecting to have to move out of college two months early and be unable to see my friends until the fall again. From staying in my bedroom 10 hours a day working on school work, my job, or other things to pass the time, I have definitely experienced loneliness during this time. I no longer have friends to spend long nights in Davis with or friends to eat lunch in Lenoir with. My family has been there for me though, and we have played so many card games and taken so many walks in the neighborhood that I have lost count. We all have supported each other in many times during this time of social isolation.
I could not have even imagined I would be in this situation at the beginning of the semester. If you would have predicted this type of world closure/quarantine restriction that is happening right now I probably would have laughed so hard that I would have started crying. And now I am actually crying on the other side wondering when I can have my world back. I am so grateful for the sacrifices that all those who are still working are making so that I can stay safe. I want to thank the grocery workers, the gas station workers, the mail service, and most of all healthcare workers. Although this has been extremely difficult for me, I cannot imagine how difficult it is for them. I know that I will just have to be patient and wait for the coronavirus to run its’ course in this country and around the world, but it breaks my heart to see the devastation that has erupted during this time. I just hope that everyone will recover and soon I will be able to return to normal life as a college student at UNC.