Covid-19 Freshman

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Covid-19 Freshman

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The Coronavirus will certainly be something I will never forget and how it impacted myself and the people around me. The initial shutdown hit the spring of my senior year of high school. I thought we were going to be shut down for a month, at the most. That certainly was not the case. After most of the world was shut down for nearly 6 months, it was time for me to start my freshman year of college. I spent the summer going into freshman year wondering what college would look like for me, and whether campuses would even reopen come fall semester of 2020. Luckily, college students we able to return to campus, but with many changes and limitations none of us could have imagined.
Moving into college was much different than I had always imagined. Before coming to campus, I had to schedule a two hour move in slot on a specific date. Before unloading anything, I had to wait in a line of other college student’s cars waiting to get tested for covid. The test had to be negative in order to be allowed on campus. The rapid covid test we received took 30 minutes to receive the results. This was the longest 30 minutes of my life. My heart was racing, and I was freaking out about what would happen if the test came back positive. I would have to drive seven hours back home, just to do it all over again 10 days later. Thankfully, the test came back negative, and I was able to move into my dorm room. Unfortunately, my roommate had tested positive, so I was alone in my room for 10 days. That does not seem like a lot of time now but looking back it was the longest 10 days of my life. Everyone on campus was isolated from each other to slow the spread of the virus. We were discouraged from having others in our dorm rooms and were encouraged to say in our rooms for the majority of the day. The gym was even opened for limited hours of the day. All these limitations meant spending a lot of time in your room alone.
Along with adjusting to this new reality of college none of us expected, we had to worry about getting sent into isolation if we tested positive, and we got tested up to two times a week. I had many conversations with my roommate about how long it was going to take to get sent home because we all expected to be sent home, since we had experienced so many other disappointments and cancellations in the last few months of senior year. It was very hard to live with the high level of uncertainty. No one knew how long the pandemic was going to last, when things were going to return to normal, and whether we were ever going to receive a normal college experience. While many current college students have not experienced the normal college experience, we all expected to, we have all adjusted and have made the most of it. I am hopeful that we are close to returning to normalcy, and we all have gone through the worst of it.

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This item was submitted on February 2, 2022 by Elizabeth Nerone using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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