Before Spring Break started I was so excited to go to the beach because I had been super pale for what felt like months. Soon, it was the Friday before Spring Break, and my 2:30 PM class was about to end. I couldn’t help but think about how I was going to spend the next seven days in the sand while watching the sunset from Clearwater Beach.
Two days into vacation everything changed
Sadly, two days into my vacation, my dreams of a fresh tan and beautiful sunsets were crushed due to the global pandemic.
Once the news broke that all college campuses would close and classes would be moved online for the remainder of the semester, I quickly cancelled the rest of my planned beach days and began to worry about how I was going to pay my credit card bills. I currently work on campus as a student assistant, and it’s my only job. Usually, if the campus is closed, my job is closed.
The stress of not knowing if I could pay my bills was terrible
The stress of not knowing if I was going to have a stable source of income increased as everyone on social media began to panic and the virus continued to sicken and kill more people. Eventually, my boss and I worked out a plan for me to go onto campus three times a week so that I could continue working and have money to pay my bills. But, this created a challenge if I wanted to practice proper social distancing. I took the risk. My parents couldn’t afford to pay off their bills and mine.
Thankfully, since the campus is closed for classes, I don’t have to be in contact with very many people while I’m there. This is especially reassuring because my mom has Lupus, an autoimmune disease.
Because the virus is known to be dangerous to people with compromised immune systems , I’ve made sure to avoid touching my face while I’m at work, and I wash my hands frequently. Even though my mom has reassured me that the medicine she takes for her Lupus and the B-12 shots she injects herself with are protecting her, it still makes me uneasy to think that I could be a carrier of the disease and possibly put my mom’s life at risk.
My summer internship probably won’t happen
Another thing that’s really bummed me out is the fact that now it’s unlikely that I will get a summer internship, including the one I applied for out of state. This summer was supposed to be my time to gain more experience and make more connections for my future career as a copywriter. It’s discouraging to think that because we didn’t take the virus seriously when the outbreak first occurred, we now have to completely stop our normal daily lives for an unknown period of time. Sadly, we will never get this time back and a lot of things are going to be put on hold indefinitely. I take heart knowing that the whole world is literally all in this together.
Even though the virus has caused a lot of turmoil in everyone’s lives, I can’t forget that it’s also given us a chance to be at home without any guilt. Usually, everyone,myself included, is constantly on the go and always wishing for their next day off or a vacation.
The world has been given a moment to reflect
The world has been given the opportunity to stop and reflect. It’s important for us to accept that we really can’t change anything about the pandemic itself, we can only make decisions that put our health—and the health of others—first.
It’s easy to forget about what’s most important in the rush of regular life, but when everything feels like it’s in shambles, we can remind ourselves of what really matters to us. And we can use this time to finally get those things done that we’ve been putting off for who knows how long.
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Nicole Sanchez is a junior at Saint Leo University majoring in English with a specialization in professional writing and minoring in marketing. Nicole has worked as a social media intern for the school’s newspaper, The Lions Pride Media Group, and is a member of the English National Honors Society, Sigma Tau Delta. Nicole hopes to work for a makeup brand’s creative team after she receives her bachelor’s degree. She has multiple accounts on social media and you can search Nicole Sanchez on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram to find all three of her personal accounts.