COVID & College

Diana Godoy adjusts to living her junior year at UNC online. Contributed photo.

CORONAVIRUS

By Diana Godoy, junior PR & Advertising major at UNC

It’s not the junior year of college that I was expecting, that’s for sure. This time last year, I was going home for spring break thinking I’d be back at UNC the very next week. Then the pandemic hit, and I was forced to move out and finish the semester online at my parents’ house.

Professors had only two weeks to move course material online, so they were going through the same difficult transition as students. We figured out Zoom classes together. We thought it would be only temporary.

The pandemic canceled a lot of internships, but I was able to complete mine virtually. The whole summer, I held out hope that everything would be back to normal in time for my junior year to start. Obviously, that wasn’t the case.

In August, I moved into an apartment with two of my friends close to campus so that I could have a somewhat normal experience. It’s nice to live with friends again, but our social life consists of movie marathons and board game nights with each other. We’ve been robbed of the social aspect of college life this year.

Because I’m living in the Chapel Hill area, I’m required to take a COVID test on campus once a week. Campus was a little eerie at first, but now that UNC is holding some in-person classes again this semester, it’s starting to look more normal.

Junior year is tough enough as it is, and being fully online makes it even more difficult. It feels as if there is no separation between my school and home life. Each day just blends together into one unending and stressful school day. To make up for in-person participation grades, a lot of my professors tack on even more assignments, like forum posts, on top of lecture videos, exams and normal assignments. It feels like I never get a break — probably because we don’t, since they’ve taken spring break from us this year.

But I see a small light at the end of the tunnel. I have a work-study position through the university, so I’m eligible for a COVID vaccine. UNC also announced that this year’s graduation will be in person. I’m hopeful that at the very least I’ll be able to have a normal graduation next year. At the very most, I’m praying for a fully in-person last year at Carolina with my friends.

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