Where do I begin with my perspective as a student, specifically, a Lynchburg Hornet, in the midst of a pandemic?
First, I want to acknowledge that I could never say what virus I am referring to in this article, and you would still know. Turn on the news, get on Facebook, look at the toilet paper aisle at the grocery store, or basically talk to another human being, and you will hear about the Coronavirus. It has sparked conversation around the world, put masses into panic, and most impacting for me, it has moved my college classes online.
Recently, I saw a meme on Facebook announcing a girl was starting college at “Da Crib University.” I chuckled, yet at the same time, it is alarming to think about how seriously the virus is affecting everyone and that it has closed UL’s campus.
Globally, the world is scary. It would be foolish to deny that fact. There are terrorists, the coronavirus is spreading, children die from the flu, sober people get killed by drunk drivers, and the list continues. Individually, the world can also be scary. Maybe you received a medical diagnosis you did not want, maybe your home life is falling apart, or maybe you just do not know how you are going to make it one more day in this chaotic world.
It is natural to recognize that the world is not what you grow up dreaming it is. When I was a child, I knew there were bad things, but I did not know the extent of what was happening around me. Gradually, as I got older, I began to learn more about the awful things not only in Virginia and the U.S., but around the world. Last August, I was really shaken when a grandmother, mother, and baby were all murdered by their family member right near my rural hometown. The tragedy was overwhelming to think about at times. I did not even know the family, and yet sometimes I cry when I think about the grief the surviving husbands must feel every day.
When I was a child, most of my time was consumed with my mother reading to me or writing stories on my typewriter. Sometimes, they were not even my stories. I would copy my favorite books simply because I liked the way it felt to type.
In elementary school, I started writing journals, which led to writing poetry because I did not have the patience to write long journals. It was easier to just write short stanzas. However, as a child, I never thought about majoring in English. I did not even think about college very much. I just knew I would go one day.
As a child, I used to play the Obstacle Course game on Wii Fit almost every single day. It was exhilarating but also terrifying. My avatar, as the title suggests, would have a destination but she could not get there without going through obstacles like wrecking balls, ice patches, and bridges.
When I first started out, the bridges always got me. I would bend my legs on my Wii Balance Board, trying to make my avatar jump to the next one, but she could never make it. She always fell to the ground (did I mention the courses were in the sky?), but luckily I could start over every time I did not make it.
During each semester, it is inevitable that I end up writing an article about change; but, how could I not? So many things are different from year to year, especially as a college student.
For example, last year at this time, I was in Spanish 102, and now I have completed my foreign language requirement. At the end of this semester, I will be halfway done with college. Next week, I turn twenty years old. It feels like just yesterday I was an 18-year-old at Cracker Barrel dreaming about everything I have now, not knowing what college would be like.
With the start of second semester, and being in four English classes (for my major), I am already feeling overwhelmed. Also, with summer at the end of this semester, it is harder to find motivation to make it through the cold beginning weeks of the semester.
However, I am trying to stay encouraged even in the midst of heavy reading and writing assignments. Here are my recommendations of how to have a successful next few months of school.