(This is the second in a series of articles from students about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
Were you in college or high school when the pandemic hit the country? What was the biggest impact on your life during the first few months of the pandemic? I was in my second semester of junior year at Missouri State University when the pandemic hit the country. The pandemic had a large impact on my life and the lives of others. The biggest impact was moving home into my sister’s home with her two children while she was expecting her third.
What were the challenges of transitioning from seated classes (either high school or college) to online learning? The biggest challenge transitioning from seated courses to online courses was communication. Being new to zoom, other media platforms, and listening to lectures online or on zoom was very difficult. It took a great deal of academic investment to stay up to date with my courses and the new online platforms.
What is the greatest lesson you took away from the pandemic (from the beginning to the point we are currently at with social distancing, masking)? The most valuable lesson the pandemic taught me was to appreciate the little things. I never realized how much joy seeing others smile brought me until the mask and social distancing orders. It taught me to appreciate the time with my friends, family, and academics more, and that time is valuable.
How did you practice Self-Care-As-A-Bear in dealing with the stress of online classes, isolation from friends and activities, general stress of dealing with the unknown? The pandemic has brought a lot of new anxieties to everyday life and self care has been extremely valuable to me. To cope with the stress of living in a National Health Pandemic my senior year of college, I developed and strengthened hobbies. Cooking has always been a passion and the pandemic has given me time to pursue that passion and expand my talent. I have journaled, called friends and family more often, and spent hours upon hours with my cat to practice self care.
What did you learn about yourself as you went through/continue to go through the pandemic? The pandemic has taught me how strong I am. I was discouraged starting my senior year in a pandemic, knowing I would need to find a job to utilize my degree. I stayed strong and focused on my studies, and found a job for post graduation during my first semester of senior year. It taught me to dig down and not give up on myself when things got tough. It also taught me to be a better friend and family member and to tell those around me how much their presence in my life meant.