Is It Over Yet?
The year of the pandemic was difficult, yet students managed to find light
By Madelyn Kohn
If someone was asked to describe this year in one sentence, they might say something like: “Is it over yet?” Whether they were a first-year student or a graduating senior, the year of the pandemic was anything but normal.
There were goods and bads, but according to freshman Taylor Lindaur, “literally nothing” was good about the pandemic school year. Some students were upset in not having a spring break, which was one major memory that changed.
Instead of spring break, students got two Wednesdays off during the month of March. This meant many students did not have an opportunity to visit family, go on vacation, or create other memories along the way.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, first-year students haven’t had a normal college experience. However, it wasn’t just the first-year students who felt a change.
Senior Quinton Roque felt the struggle first hand when he was diagnosed with Covid-19 during the fall semester. While healing from the illness, he explained how the rest of his life didn’t slow down and wait for him to catch up.
“After catching Covid, things were never the same and I had the toughest semester of my life,” Roque said.
Covid-19 was something that affected everyone, whether they caught the virus or not. Some, such as Roque, saw the difficulties of catching back up in classes once they got sick and fell behind. This was a fear for all students during the very stressful year of the pandemic.
On a similar note, at the beginning of the academic year, during the fall sports season, senior Madie King experienced one of the worst memories that an athlete can go through.
“My strongest and worst memory from my college experience during Covid was getting a text from my coach asking if I could jump on a Zoom call with him ASAP. During that call, he told me that my senior cross country season was cancelled and the official statement would be coming out in a few hours. As the only senior and defending cross country champion, this was my worst nightmare. I’ll always remember that Zoom call and the feeling of how my stomach dropped when I heard,” King said.
Many sports seasons were cancelled, postponed, or shortened, and for seniors it hit hard. The chance at creating a last set of sports memories with their friends was over before it even began. King, however, quickly got a new perspective on the situation and turned her focus on the future.
“Honestly, senior year sucks. It’s not what I wanted or expected but I’m so grateful to have it anyway. I got a job! I accepted my first ever big girl job in March and I’ll be starting June 1st. This was a light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel where I knew that it was going to be okay soon,” she said.
Sophomore Abby Gilbertson had a similar experience in college sports, as she lost her first year of playing softball due to the pandemic, but got to play during her sophomore year with restrictions.
“My first year of college softball was taken away from me due to the pandemic. We have come so far in the year that has passed, and now I am able to play softball for my sophomore season. We have to play with masks, be socially distanced in the dugouts, and we have to get COVID tested regularly. All of these restrictions and rules are all worth it, since I am able to play the game that I love to play,” Gilbertson said.
The academic year during the pandemic to some students felt quite long since the fall and spring breaks were adjusted to specific days off in the middle of some weeks. Some athletes lost their opportunity to play sports this year, while others got their first chance to finally get to play again. There were many new and old memories that came to the surface during the year, it all depends on how one looks at the story.
Posted by Ripon Media in College Days.