Diary of a Quarantined Student: Braelyn

As COVID-19 continues to spread, high schools and colleges around the world are closing, and students are staying home. Quarantining can feel isolating, but stories like these have the power to change that.    

Today’s blog is written by Braelyn Diamond, a senior communication major and marketing minor at the College of Charleston, and former Tallo intern. Following graduation, Braelyn hopes to move to New York City and pursue a career in brand management. 

If I would’ve been asked two years ago, or even two months, how I imagined I’d spend the last few months of my senior year of college, I would’ve responded with the utmost positivity. I’ve worked hard for four years and was prepared and thrilled to close this major chapter of my life. A chapter that was mostly written, but simply missing a few more memories, a few more laughs, and just a few more spontaneous adventures.  

I thought I had a little more time to leave new footprints in the streets of the city I’d called home for four years, filled with people that began to feel a lot like family. I thought I had a little more to appreciate my walks to class filled with passing familiar faces. I thought I had time to finish this chapter. 

Never in a million years did I imagine I’d be abruptly uprooted from my roommates and friends, not even allowed to say goodbye to most in person. I’m mourning the loss of senior traditions and quarantined in my childhood home with anxiety caused by the uncertainty of obtaining a job. 

It’s crazy how fast things can change. One minute I’m discussing spring break plans with my closest friends, and the next we’re sitting together crying over the postponement of graduation: the celebration of our success. Some of the people I’ve spent time with, laughing until 2 a.m. or hunkering down in the library to prepare for a test, may now become a distant memory far too soon. 

Small, intimate class sessions have been replaced with distant virtual meetings, sitting miles away from classmates and professors with shaky connections. Lunch dates have been replaced with Facetime calls. The energy we saved for Friday night outings to celebrate all of the wins of the week are now being put into Tik Tok videos. 

We’ve lost more than just a few months of school. We’ve lost a routine, a lifestyle, and a vision of the future. 

Senior year now looks different than it did before, and it’s taking time to embrace this new reality instead of wallowing in my misery. Because, although it may seem that I am part of the cursed coronavirus class of 2020, not everything has been canceled. 

I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to finish my communications internship with the College of Charleston School of Business remotely, and that technology allows me to conduct interviews for feature stories online. 

I’ll be spending this time finishing this semester as strong as I can, taking nothing for granted. I’ll be reading books that I’ve been looking at for months, and starting new projects that I’ve been putting off. I hope to spend some time reconnecting with myself and my loved ones. 

It’s easy to feel anxious during this time, robbed of freedom and experiences, and uncertain of what’s to come. But I find comfort in knowing that I’m not alone. I find comfort in knowing that, among others, relationships and love are constant — may we all lean into the good stuff that remains.

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