Hard Goodbyes and Bittersweet Hellos
Over the past two weeks, I've left home, traveled to Hanover in the middle of a pandemic, and began the on-campus quarantine process. I know a lot of students must have questions about what this journey has been like. So, in this blog post, I plan to break it down for you all!
- No. 1
After saying goodbye to my family and their farm in Tecumseh, Oklahoma, I headed back to my hometown. Once home, I spent my last week packing, spending time with my family, and trying to figure out what travel would look like in the midst of a pandemic. It was hard to leave my community behind after being back home for so long, but I knew that it was time for me to leave again. One of the hardest goodbyes was with my little brother. It was especially hard for me to head back to campus while knowing that he would be starting Fall term virtually.
- No. 2
Arriving at my Second Home:
Usually, I feel an intense sense of relief when flying into Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Airport, but this time, I felt that same sense of relief when I was leaving DFW. After wearing my mask and following social distancing procedures both on the plane and in the airports, I finally arrived outside my terminal to find a friend who was driving to campus waiting for me. While both masked up, we made the three hour drive to Hanover! This was a great chance to catch up with a friend and relax before beginning my testing process on campus! When we finally drove into Hanover, the site of Baker Tower welcomed us back to our second home. Senior year was finally beginning.
- No. 3
After rounds of COVID-19 testing, I am now nearing the end of my second week of quarantine. Despite the solitude, just being on campus and getting to look out my window onto Wheelock Street has been phenomenal for my spirit. In this quarantine period, I've participated in a week of UGA training sessions, enjoyed picking up my meals and talking with our wonderful DDS workers, as well as reflected on the goals I have set for myself this Fall. So, while quarantine has made for a quiter than usual first week on campus, it's been a great way for me to take time for myself before beginning classes.
- No. 4
While this week may have been the last of my quarantine period, it was the first week of classes. As someone who has never taken virtual courses before, this week has been full of new experiences for me. Exploring Zoom and the conference feature on Canvas has truly made me realize how I have taken for granted in-class settings. This term I am taking three virtual courses: NAS 8, Perspectives in Native American Studies, REL 19.34, Disease and Desire in Islam, and MUS 25, Introductions to the Sonic Arts. I am so excited for all of these courses! Although this term is going to look very different than the last term that I was on campus, I am glad to be immersed once again in an intellectual community.
I don’t know exactly what on-campus life will look like post-quarantine, but I do know that it is our community’s duty to keep each other safe during this time. Although classes are virtual now, those of us on campus are still struggling to find a balance between academics and our social lives here. While I am also excited to be back in the presence of my best friends, fellow students on campus, and the community of Hanover, I know that more than anything else right now, our first priority must be keeping each other safe.