collegian

COVID-19 and Me

By Rachel Lyons / Staff Writer

This column is not the column that I want to be writing now, or frankly ever for that matter. The first 48 hours of the week before spring break should not have been a mad dash to check out of the dorms, under questionable mandatory status, and trying to get settled and find peace among the storms the few weeks have brought. 

Usually, I have a loose “thesis” or at least a general idea of where I am trying to go with my columns – today, I don’t. 

I had a teacher in my last two years of high school who tried to encourage their students to grow into a growth mindset (no pun intended). While now might not be the best time to be trying to follow that advice, arguably a few years too late, this mindset change is about the only thing getting me through the emotions of my world turning upside down. 

Being a sophomore while this pandemic is having its go in the world isn’t all fun and games. Monday, March 16th, felt like a reverse move in day – everyone who could be scrambling trying to get out as fast as possible. To watch your friends leave without knowing when, if ever, you will see them again, the thought of not seeing them again, trying to establish a “new normal,” coping with the changes that are rapidly coming. I think it says something that my three “most-used emojis of the week” were the red heart, the broken red heart, and the crying emoji. 

My only guess as to what is making this column so hard to write is the fact that being on The Collegian staff was one of the best things that happened in my college career. What Brad tells us in his “first-day” speech is correct – you will meet some of your best friends in the room we produce the paper in. Maybe that is why it is so hard to cope with suddenly leaving campus and not being able to see those friends in person at least once a week, but still being responsible. 

If I had one ounce of Coach Nac’s optimism right now, it would probably come in the form of something like “we will overcome this and be stronger than we ever were as a nation” (or however small you would like to break it down to). 

I have decided that because right now, most of what we see and hear is virus related – I want to be the person who encourages you to be a real person during these times. Check-in on a friend, fellow college student, a general college student, or even someone that you have not heard from in a while through any form of technology. I’m sure they’d be glad to hear from you.  Mahatma Gandhi calls us to “be the change you wish to see in the world,” this is an excellent way to start.

The reality of this column is that I do not have a wise ending or anything more worth saying, except maybe – this is not the end. We will eventually overcome, and it will be behind us. I suppose I should tell you that yes, we are facing the unknown, but no matter how far away that we have to be, we still have each other, the American Spirit, and the American Dream.

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