Making the Most of this Crazy Time

Samantha Bender, Assistant News Editor

I certainly cannot be alone in feeling like the rug was completely pulled out from underneath me. One second I went from enjoying my classes and anxiously anticipating spring break to feeling like everything at my fingertips was taken away from me in one foul swoop.

According to USA Today, as of last Tuesday, at least 70 percent of American schools have shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak.

This percentage is projected to increase as the weeks go on and the severity of the virus becomes more apparent. As a result, Central, along with the 16 other Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU), have decided to transition to online classes for the remainder of the semester.

In a public statement addressed to CSCU institutions from their President Mark E. Ojakian, on March 17, all recipients were notified that all physical campuses will be closed to the public till at least the end of the spring semester.

This was honestly the most exciting semester yet for me at Central… or so I thought. 

airplane flight GIF by GIPHY Studios Originals

airplane flight GIF by GIPHY Studios Originals

I was planning on going to Amsterdam, Paris and Normandy for a course abroad at the end of May; I am also enrolled in hands-on journalism courses in which we spend our valuable time in the studio filming the campus newscast.

I’m angry and frustrated and I am justified in these feelings, as is everyone else trying to cope with this new reality we have found ourselves in. 

My anger is not directed at a particular person, because it is no one’s fault. In fact, I applaud our university’s efforts to do everything in their power to make this transition as smooth and seamless as possible for us during this crazy time. 

However, I would be lying if I did not say that every day has become a blur for me without the structure of in-person classes and specific meeting days and times.

I am trying my best to navigate this new world of online courses, but it has been far from easy for me.

I am a very social person who thrives on human interaction. I am also a student who learns best by participating in active discussions and physically doing things, rather than staring at a computer screen. 

It is very tough for me to grasp that I went from sitting in the library studying for midterms with my friends just two weeks ago to not having the opportunity to see these friends or step foot on campus until further notice.

I find myself going to bed at night trying to convince myself that when I wake up in the morning, everything will be normal and I will be getting ready for my average day as a college student.

Instead, I wake up everyday and remind myself of this nightmare that we have found ourselves in.

I am slowly learning to adjust to it and find the positives in this situation and others should try to do this as well. As a member of a family of six, we are constantly busy. This situation has now given us all an opportunity to spend quality time together and appreciate each other’s presence. 

I am also getting more sleep, which is a major triumph for most, if not all, college students.

Most of all, though, I am learning to appreciate my alone time and get comfortable with being with myself. 

At the end of the day, I am learning that while certain situations, especially this one, are completely out of my control, what I make of it is not. So I will choose to celebrate the small victories.

This situation is scary, weird and very unpredictable, but I think this may be the Earth’s way of telling us that we all need take a step back, breathe and assess what’s truly important to us.