I was so excited to start my junior year because all I could think about was how I was almost done with my four years in college. Fall semester went smoothly and all I could think about was my 21st birthday on Christmas Eve. I watch the news all the time so I usually stayed up to date on current events around the world. I remember hearing about the Coronavirus in China, which was something I never heard before. My first initial thought to this outbreak was how bad I felt for the people living in China and how much they were dealing with this. Cases kept rising and people kept dying. I also thought, “Could this virus ever come here to the United States?” I couldn’t help but think about my dad because he is much older and my boyfriend, who has Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac disease. I don’t have any underlying conditions, but knowing my family is at risk really scared me.
It was now the new year. My friends and I were having fun going out to bars and celebrating more 21st birthdays. I still kept up with the news and saw how the virus was spreading a lot more in China and some other parts of Asia. We came back from winter break and Suffolk’s president sent out an email about the outbreak and basically just cautioned us. Things only started to get worse then.
It was now February and it was President’s Day weekend. My boyfriend and I planned a trip to Disney World and I was so excited since it was my first time going there. As I kept up with the news, the virus had spread to Europe, affecting more countries like Italy and Spain. I wasn’t as worried to fly because I knew we were staying in the United States, but before we flew, we found out a local student had traveled to China and was exposed, making him the first reported case in Massachusetts. We decided to still go because there weren’t any confirmed cases of the virus in Florida. After spending 5 days in Florida, things started to get a lot worse.
As soon as we came back from the long weekend, everyone started to talk more about it. One of my friends told me her teacher announced to the class that the president of Suffolk University was thinking about going to remote learning for the rest of the school year. I couldn’t believe it but I thought it was the best option for everyone’s safety. It was almost time for spring break. My friend Ariana and I took the train to go back home. I told her, “There is no way we are going back to school after spring break” She agreed and said, “Yeah there is no way, the cases keep rising here in Boston” I got off my stop on the train and said bye to Ariana. Little did I know, that was our last goodbye and I haven’t seen her since. During spring break, we got an email from our president saying we will not return to school and that all classes will be held online. I was very sad that I couldn’t go back to school because I actually enjoyed all my classes. I was also nervous because I didn’t know how these online classes were going to work.
The president gave us an extra three days to our spring break so we could start getting adjusted to our new student life. I had a total of five classes and only three classes held zoom meetings, while the other two classes were basically self taught classes. It was especially hard to concentrate with the two teachers who did not host any zoom meetings. We basically had to teach ourselves and it was extremely hard when you had more classes that you had to follow. Something that really bothered me was how much class participation was still a requirement even though there was a pandemic going around. I would see sad stories all over social media about people losing their loved ones and there were times where I did not want to attend zoom meetings because I was so traumatized about losing my loved ones. I really did miss a couple of zoom classes because I was just so unmotivated and wanted school to be the last of my worries right now. It was honestly really hard to sit there for about two hours and stare at our computers knowing there were people that were dying and cases kept rising.
After about six weeks it was finally over and I felt even more relieved than usual because I was really giving up. I don’t want to do this again, especially for my senior year of college. It is a time for me to feel accomplished to be almost done with school, not for me to be locked in my room staring at a computer screen all day. I am currently taking two summer classes which are also held online and it is not as bad as it was for the spring semester because it is only two classes and it is simple homework. Suffolk recently sent out an email stating some classes will be held online, some classes will be on campus, and some will be hybrid classes. They have not said which classes would be held online. I would be incredibly sad if my senior year is held online so I am hoping we go back in the fall, but what is most important is that we all stay safe and do whatever is best.
Other Student Narratives from the Team at Relay:
- A Wild Freshman Year in College
- Reflecting on the Spring 2020 Semester – My Reaction to the Campus Closure
- Transferring and Dealing with COVID-19
- Thoughts on Heading into Junior Year of High School
- Treasuring the Moments, Losing Senior Year & Looking Forward