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 Dewan Protiva, a third-year microbiology and immunology major at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Following graduation, Dewan hopes to attend an accredited pharmacy school in Texas.
If someone told me in January 2020 that my university would be closed until the end of summer due to a superbug, I would tell them they must have misheard the news coverage. However, that is the world we live in now! There are cities in lock-down, closed universities and public schools, and vacant streets. The world that we once knew is changed and as citizens and students, we are left to imagine how we can make our lives feel “normal” again.
As an undergraduate student, my university’s transition into a fully online campus was not surprising as our institution is known for being proactive. Professors were trained on time and students are reminded to be hopeful. We are encouraged to continue with our academics and any extracurricular activities possible. I plan to stay on track with my academics and extracurricular activities by finding ways to better manage my time while safely helping others.
We have all heard by now that sticking to a routine is really important. I personally love to write daily to-do lists, since daily goals are easier to accomplish. Plus, by keeping goals, I am reminding myself that my life will continue to move on despite the current situation. My daily goals can include completing homework and assignments, looking up scholarships (like those listed on Tallo!), and participating in webinars and tutoring sessions.
I have also found joy through virtual volunteering. My university will be hosting a virtual Cardboard Kid Day, where we can print out copy paper sized Cardboard Kid templates, decorate them and share them on our social media with the hashtag #CardboardKidSA. I plan on making 4 CardboardKids, since it is a great way to be creative and share something nice with others. I also volunteer as a digital transcriber for Smithsonian’s Freedman Bureau’s Project and as a college advisor for CareerVillage.org. I recommend these volunteer opportunities for any students, since they are just as helpful to others as in-person volunteer activities!
Besides staying on track with my academics and extracurricular activities, I have also found myself spending more time outside. I enjoy just standing on the grass and feeling the warmth of the sun above me. I hope that students — and everyone else — can appreciate the natural world we live in, especially during these times. Plus, this has helped me be more mindful and spiritual, maintaining a calm outlook on life.
I may not be a scientist (yet) or a psychologist, but I am a hopeful college student who is willing to stay inside, just as others should to. We are all in this together and we can overcome this adversity with collective action.
Interested in writing your own Diary of a Quarantined Student blog? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. And don’t miss our past blog posts from other students here!