We are approaching one year of living with the pandemic. It can go without saying that it has been a hard year, but despite the circumstances, the campus community has been extremely resilient.
The student body lost so much this year. Although the campus is looking a bit more lively than it did previously, it is still a shell of what it once was. Many students are living off-campus — living their entire college experience online.
It is great that some courses are able to meet in-person, and the university seems to be looking into making sure that is more possible in the fall. While it may still be difficult for those taking classes online, students are doing the best they can at them, and that is enough.
Students, even if you feel like you are not doing as well in your coursework as you may have prior to the virus, that is okay. The fact that you are still trying toward that degree in these awful circumstances is something to be proud of alone.
Many professors are also putting the extra work to make sure students stay afloat. They have taken extra training to make their courses are as satisfactory online as they would be in-person. They still do their best in teaching their courses — even when they have to also deal with the hardships that COVID-19 has brought.
A year later, professors may still miss an email or two, or not know what buttons to press to successfully screenshare on Zoom, and that is okay. The fact that they try and are willing to continue to learn and adapt is enough.
Of course, college is more than just getting a degree; it’s about having fun experiences too that will be remembered for a lifetime. COVID-19 took away a lot of those opportunities: The chance to properly get involved on campus, to meet and gather with friends, to live in the dorms without restrictions.
While it may not be the same, the campus community has been hard at work to make sure the college experience for all is not completely lost.
Clubs have been especially resilient making sure that members can still be involved — both in-person and virtually. The campus as a whole also has found ways to make sure that events and lectures still are going on that people can safely enjoy.
We at The Leader have felt this too. We miss meeting in person in Old Main every Tuesday. We miss production weekend, sitting in the basement all day long on a Sunday. We miss being together and holding the paper in our hands.
But we still try to make it work too, trying our best to give the latest information and content to the campus community with the limited communication the Internet can give us.
We all may have thought that COVID-19 would be past us in a few weeks, and then a few months, and the end is now only slowly approaching with the distribution of the vaccine. Many of us never even thought this would be our reality one year later.
We may not all be doing perfectly as a campus community, and we may not have pandemic life completely down, but we are doing enough. Life now may feel at times just as hard and as it did on day one, and that is okay.
You are allowed to mourn your losses still. You are still allowed to feel scared or unmotivated or overwhelmed.
But count all of your wins, no matter how small. The fact that you are still here doing something is enough.
Whether you are a member of the campus community, or just a citizen of the world right now, you are doing great.