My College Experience; Covid Edition

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My College Experience; Covid Edition

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The Coronavirus pandemic has most certainly been a time I will not forget. When I was a second semester Freshman at Duquesne University, in Pittsburgh, PA, this wild spread begun. It was the spring semester of 2020. New year, new decade, new semester and all I wanted to do this particular semester, was rush a Fraternity and join Greek Life. I got initiated into my fraternity on February 28th, the night we were leaving school for spring break. After that week, we arrived back to campus, and all my new brothers and I were very excited to get to know one another and spend the rest of the semester together. When you get initiated, that first semester is meant to be something really special. Unfortunately, however, that semester was cut short. Around the second week of March, we all got the news that the Coronavirus was spreading across Asia and Europe, vastly approaching the United States. On March 16th, 2020, we all got the news that our University was going to be shutting down. Come March 22nd, 2020, I moved all my personal belongings out of my dorm and said goodbye to my school. The worst part for me was, I never got to personally say goodbye to my Freshman year, my friends, or my new fraternity brothers. The semester had to continue, however, academically. We were told that our school was going to be using this Facetime software, called “Zoom”. I of course did not hear of this particular software before. Once it was set up, and running, I quickly got used to everything. I actually made the Dean’s list once the semester was over and done with. Now for me, the summer was nothing bad. I worked at a golf course, spent a lot of time with my family, and got to know some of my neighbors better. Unfortunately, this was not the same for some of my friends. Before we left, I got to know some people who were in other Greek life organizations. One of my new friends at this time in particular, really struggled with mental health. At the end of the day, I still managed to help not only him, but other friends with things that were on their minds. A year later, it is the Spring semester of 2021. We are still going through the same pandemic, and things have improved a little bit, which is good. However, in college, we are still on zoom, and all our fraternity events for the recruitment processes have been virtual. This is not easy, because to get the ideal number of new members, things should be in person. The moral of the story in my opinion, however, is that I am very, very grateful that I joined my organization when I did. I am very blessed for the opportunities that I have come about, and for the people who have stuck by my side since March of 2020. This may not have been the college experience I have envisioned thus far, but It is certainly one I cannot and will not forget.

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This item was submitted on February 1, 2021 by Brandon Clarke using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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