COVID-19 has made 2020 a memorable year if nothing else will. If I would have known to expect any of this during my six-hour drive back home for spring break, it might have helped me deal with some of the hardships I have faced during this incredible pandemic.
Once FAMU confirmed we had to finish our spring semester online, I immediately became drenched in stress. The thought of having to participate in a gigantic group Facetime — more professionally known as “Zoom” — forgetting about assignments because I’m no longer in a classroom, and still paying rent for an apartment that makes no sense to go back to, I was completely overwhelmed.
Things began to quickly go from bad to worse as everyone in my household lost their job one after another. While some may see this as a time to bond, energies were fluctuating due to the uncertainty of employment while bills were still due. Along with the second-hand stress, my apartment got broken into and although my room hadn’t been touched, I still had to find a way and time to move out while arranging a place for my belongings to stay because there was absolutely no additional space in my home.
Not shortly after, my family and I had to mourn the death of my grandfather without being able to make it to the funeral in St. Thomas because of the suddenness and not being able to afford five round-trip tickets (flights were still regular price at the time and no he didn’t die from COVID).
Thankfully, my mother decided to have his remains cremated and we will have our own ceremony here.
Trying to focus on classes while adjusting to all these changes seemed more impossible than important and I stayed in that feeling for the rest of the semester.
Although it seemed like my life had been cursed, a blessing fell into my lap in the middle of May when I was offered a full-time job as a leasing agent by my friend’s mother. I was extremely grateful for the opportunity to save and continue to set goals for myself.
Throughout the summer I was able to indulge in things I already planned on completing, visit old friends and plan a business idea set to launch in October.
Regardless of all the ups and downs I experienced while being home, I could not describe how badly I’ve missed FAMU. From walking to Foote-Hilyer for food that may or may not have been worth the distance or sweating, to staying in j-school until midnight or after to complete assignments with classmates, I hate that my senior year is being completed through technology instead of social interaction.
Life was easier when all I had to worry about was what’s due at 11:59 p.m. in the midst of my own space and privacy.