In the Pandemic Journey

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In the Pandemic Journey

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I am an international student from Colombia. I was in the middle of my fourth semester as a sophomore in college when I heard that the pandemic hitting the world just entered the U.S. I was excited at the time because my girlfriend and I bought tickets to go to New York City during spring break. I thought we were going until I heard that New York City was a hot spot for COVID-19. We did not want to risk anything, especially if we were going to encounter a virus that was completely unknown to us, so we cancelled the trip, but the airline still gave us the tickets to fly anytime between then and the end of 2022.

After that, spring break came, and it was announced that the university was closed after spring break and we would have to go completely online. I live with my girlfriend since I first came to the U.S., so I stayed with her at her home that is two hours from the university we are enrolled in. We finished the rest of the semester there at her home. We then stayed for another month there and while we were in complete isolation we took advantage of that to go running together to be healthy, we did not let ourselves get bored, we were always doing something, we would do zoom video calls with our friends, watch movies, play video games, etc.

After that we came back to Stevens Point to work on campus for the summer (with the required restrictions) so we could make some money to pay for our tuition. Though this is considered by many one of the worst years they’ve lived in, I had the most fun summer since I first came to the U.S – me, my girlfriend, and our friends had a blast; we hung out almost every day, we went to isolated beaches and went on boat rides, we had bonfires, we partied amongst ourselves, we went hiking, we went biking, we played soccer, etc.
When the summer was over, we went back to classes and I got also got interested in learning new languages, so I downloaded the app called Duolingo to learn Portuguese and practice some other languages. Since Spanish and Portuguese are so similar, I am quickly picking up the language. I started my junior year in college, and I could not be happier with the classes I picked. My girlfriend and I thought that since we have classes online and more time at home, it would be the perfect time to get a dog, so we adopted a Doxiepoo, the combination of a Dachshund and a miniature poodle. She is 4 months and we have had a lot of time to train her and we couldn’t be happier with her.
Everyone has their ways of coping, and with this ongoing journey through a global pandemic, I have learned that my way of coping is not only adjusting to the situation but also taking advantage of the variety of opportunities that arrive and make the best out of it. This pandemic has taught me in a way that just because we are adjusting, we should not stop living in the moment and while I understand that for some people this pandemic might be harder, it is up to us to either make it a living hell or make it one of the most memorable experiences of our life.
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This item was submitted on October 11, 2020 by Nicolás Santiago Granados Rodríguez using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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