With the coronavirus, better known as COVID-19, becoming a pandemic and headlining every single major media platform, I knew that the fate of my college career was at risk however I had never expected this to be the outcome. Without having any idea, I sat in on my last face-to-face class at Cabrini University on Wednesday, March 11.
Like most adolescents growing up, I went through a plethora of changes. Whether it were my friends, my body, my interests, my home life, my mindsets or my beliefs changing, one thing in my life remained constant for the last 18 years. School.
For the last 18 years, I spent nine out of the 12 months of the year in a classroom. No matter what was going on in my life, I always had school to fall back on during those nine months.
I have never been the kid who hated going to school. On most school days, I entered the building with a smile on my face. There was never a summer vacation where I was not itching to go back to school after the first two weeks of being off.
I always knew that I was going to have to say goodbye to school once I graduate college, but I did not know that I was going to have to do it like this. When schools started closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was under the impression that we would have to take a few weeks off from school, but that we would be able to come back when everything calmed down.
I understand that the COVID-19 is spreading rapidly and that choices were made in order to keep the public safe during this time. For whatever reason though, I can not help but to feel like the COVID-19 robbed me of my last two months of school.
It is all starting to hit me now. I will never physically attend a class again, feel thrilled when a professor asks a tough question and my hand shoots up first because I know the answer and I will never spend another night awake anticipating a class where I have a presentation due.
Without knowing, there is a good chance that I waved hello or goodbye to some of my classmates for the last time. There are acquaintances, friends and professors that I will probably never see again.
I was excited for certain on-campus events. My friends and I always loved going to Big Prize Bingo. We have always tried to win a “big prize” and were sure that we were going to do so before we graduated.
I am heartbroken for my peers who are not going to be able to present the project that they have spent the year working on, attend any more meetings for their favorite club or activity, or who will no longer have the opportunity to play on one of Cabrini’s sports team.
I know that they will be there for me virtually, but I was certain that I would have two more months of badgering my professors and crying in their offices with questions about my future.
If I were in any other grade, I do not think that I would be upset like this. I just truly can not believe that my college years are ending this way. Cabrini has been my home away from home for the last three and a half years, and I always thought that I would have the chance to say a proper goodbye.
I feel sad, confused, angry and hurt. What is particularly tough about this situation, is that I can not decide whether or not my feelings towards all of this are understandable, or if they are selfish. My heart goes out to anyone suffering from the COVID-19, and I know that the university is taking necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the disease. I just can not wrap my head around why this is all happening now.