Through all of the chaos that the pandemic of COVID-19 has caused, I reflect on how it has impacted me. I am a senior, out-of-state student at Rutgers University. The transition for me hasn’t been the easiest, but what helps me is to continue to perform tasks, is taking it day by day. Leaving New Brunswick has been one of the most interesting experiences of my college career.
Looking back on the Fall of 2016, my first semester at Rutgers, I knew no one. I had attended a performing arts high school in Dallas, Texas and was recruited to go to Rutgers. I did not know as much as one probably should committing to a school over 1,300 miles away from home, but I knew that Rutgers was the school for me because of the endless amount of opportunities.
Over the past three and a half years I have truly found my best friends, my home away from home, and most importantly, myself. To leave New Brunswick when the future of returning to campus after Spring Break was unknown, I never said my goodbyes to my friends, mentors, or anyone who has helped me along my journey at Rutgers.
From waking up early to go to my internship at the School of Communication & Information, to seeing all of my sorority sisters at our house dinner each night, it is the little things that I miss most. On the other hand, I have more free time that I am able to focus on a game-plan for my future. Since I am a senior, this allows me to research many different jobs in the field that I want to go into as I start my career. I am applying to jobs and reaching out to people who are in the event planning industry for guidance during this time.
A typical day for me now, I would describe as an at home version of what I did while I was in New Brunswick. I still wake up early for my internship and do my schoolwork, but it is in the comfort of my home. I am lucky that I am able to say that, because I know that some students, faculty, or staff do not have that option.
This semester I had three of my courses online, so the academic transition for me was only transferring one class online. I found that to stay on top of all my schoolwork and work for my internship, I need to check my planner once in the morning and once later in the day to make sure I completed what I need to for that day. It also serves as a great way to feel accomplished while staying at home. By checking off different tasks that I have completed, it allows me to realize that I have been productive and still am accomplishing everything I would have on campus. The main way that I stay connected is through checking my email or social media for different webinars and virtual events that I can attend. I think this is a great way to feel prepared when the time comes that I can go to interviews.
As I look at my process during experience, it has been a rollercoaster of emotions. From not being able to say my goodbyes to not being able to walk across the graduation stage May 17th, it is hard to process, but I am so grateful for my health. Although my time at Rutgers University was cut short, it was nothing short of the best adventure of my life.