When I heard of a few cases here and there of a new virus, I’ll admit it, I didn’t take it too seriously. I truly believed our technological and medical advancements were strong enough to prevent something like this from happening. Being a senior in college during this pandemic was unfortunate, but it’s everyone’s duty to stay safe during this time. I’m thankful for all the front-line workers who are helping those affected as much as they can.
It all hit me when I was in Miami on spring break when I saw a security guard in the water aisle at an extremely busy Walmart. I was a bit nervous flying into Florida on March 8th, but that nervousness was incomparable to what I felt flying home on the 12th. Little did I realize those short four days were going to be my last bit of total freedom for a while.*
The friends I was spring-breaking with all went to UMass Dartmouth, the school I attended my freshman year of college before transferring to Westfield State University. They heard it first: all classes will be taught “remotely” and everyone must move their belongings out of the residence halls by a certain date, excusing some exceptions (international students, etc.). I hadn’t heard any news of that matter from my university yet, but I was led to believe the same would happen.
Everyone started talking — digitally. Days were going by, schools and nonessential businesses were closing, and everything started to get more real. All of my senior events were cancelled, including senior week, award ceremonies and the worst cancellation of all… graduation. Luckily, our graduation has been moved to October 24th, but that’s still over 5 months away.
It all felt a bit anticlimactic in a way, but I do believe I made the best out of a weird situation. I can never forget all of the hard work I put into the last four years: all the realizations and revelations that came out of my college experience, and the preparation I’ve received for not only my chosen career path, but for the rest of my life. I absolutely loved college. It was as if a new type of inspiration was around every corner. I’d gladly do it all over again, but next time…it’ll be grad school! 🙂
Overall, I’m SO thankful for my internship at Girls Inc. of the Valley. My advisor was the best for connecting me with Jess (shout out to Liz!) and giving me the opportunity to meet and work with the amazing Girls Inc. of the Valley team! From day one I felt included, connected and appreciated. I feel so lucky that my internship worked out so well despite the world’s challenging circumstances. I’m happy I don’t have to say goodbye quite yet. I’ll be continuing my time with Girls Inc. of the Valley as their video editing volunteer! YAY!
*Two months in quarantine seems pretty long, but past pandemics have lasted much longer, so by “while” I mean until the foreseeable future.
Written by Girls Inc. of the Valley’s Communication’s Intern, Nicole Camello.