COVID-19 Pandemic. Online Classes. Shutdowns. I was lucky enough to experience one normal college year before the pandemic started. It has been three years since having a normal college experience and a lot has changed throughout those years. I would see my Snapchat memories of my freshman year and sometimes I wish I could make more memories like that again, but all I have been worried about is making sure I can help keep my family and friends safe.

March 2020, the day Ohio Northern University sent all of their students home. I was previously at home the weekend we were notified about moving out of campus housing. I returned back to campus the day after the email was sent out to us. Classes were on halt to allow students sufficient time to pack up their belongings. 

I spent a good portion of the day just packing up my stuff in bags and boxes and throwing all of it in my car. I did not realize the amount of stuff that I had until my car absolutely could not fit any more boxes and bags. At that time when all on-campus students were packing up and leaving campus for the remainder of the semester felt like such a blur. Everything seemed like it was falling apart at the amount and there was nothing you or anyone could do about it.

After being sent home, we resume classes virtually. It was a challenge but it was something that we had to adapt to for the remainder of the spring semester. Not going to lie, I absolutely hated online classes. I could not focus whatsoever when I’m back home, I did not want to be at a zoom meeting, and I did not have any sort of motivation to do school work. However, I did get through it and finished out the semester. 

Everyone experienced the pandemic in different ways. Each state had different social distancing guidelines and mask guidelines. In the state of New York, non-essentials were required to shut down for about two months and slowly everything would begin to open up again. Not being able to travel to see family from different states was hard to do but it was necessary to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Fast forward to February 2022, it has been a tough three years so far. I have had a lot of ups and downs since COVID-19 started. I lost people who were close to me, I began to seclude myself away from friends and family, and I would be so disconnected from everything. It took me months to fully be myself again. The pandemic started when I was 19 and now I’m 21 about to graduate this year, where has the time gone?

leaving campus for the remainder of the semester felt like such a blur

– Kathleen Tran

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