By: Brian Cisneros
The Covid-19 pandemic was an event that others in my generation have never experienced, and we never imagined the impact it would have (and currently have) on us. The impact that the virus had on the world was unlike anything our governments, schools, and hospitals were prepared for. These struggles were displayed daily through the mainstream media that obsessed on reporting every little detail. Once the stay-at-home orders began in March of 2020, schools arguably felt the greatest impact, as the majority would transition over to online classes through Zoom. Both students and teachers had to adapt to their new online environments that we thought would be for a few weeks, however, this would not be the case as online classes continued on into the next academic year.
The summer of 2020 proved to be the dullest summer of my life as most establishments were closed and it was depressing that I couldn’t live my life freely for the first time, due to the restrictions on going out. Once the 2020-2021 academic year began for Fall quarter, it didn’t get any better. With most universities expected to carry on via Zoom, it made it hard to meet new people. I can barely remember the classes or professors I took during this time period, as I felt no personal connection that I’d usually otherwise feel if I were in person. More importantly, specific classes that required in-person attendance were a pain to deal with: one class that comes to mind is my SIO 60 class, which involved an in-person lab every week. In-person classes were rare that school year and only allowed under strict regulations, such as daily Covid-19 testing I had to complete every other week, just so I could go to class. Having to commute from home to campus outside of my regular class time strictly to get tested was an inconvenience nonetheless, but is still one minor struggle I faced during the pandemic. Another struggle that I and most students faced, were the technical difficulties while class was being conducted. Professors had to adjust their courses to a fully remote setting during this period, and it worked out for the better or for the worse. While some had a better grasp of technology, others struggled setting up classes virtually and it would impact us as students. A few examples I can think of include forgetting to record the class sessions so they could be viewed later (which were very helpful for reviewing material), muted audio or not knowing how to share screen viewing (most common issues), and in some rare cases, I remember class would be canceled or rescheduled if the professor couldn’t get the meeting up for one reason or the other.
The Covid-19 pandemic wasn’t just a period of hell for me as I tried to make the best of what I could. For starters, not being able to go out for most of 2020, meant I didn’t have to drive or spend much, and I was able to save a lot of money during this time that I’d normally spend on gas, food, and entertainment. During my time in lockdown, I remember maintaining my friendships through online gaming that normally we (me and my friends) wouldn’t have the time to do. In fact, some of the best moments I have were simply logging into my PS4 late at night and gaming with friends for hours at a time. While the worst of the pandemic is officially over, I’m glad I can look back and say that I was able to make the best out of a bad situation.