COVID-19 took away the last moments of my senior year

Two weeks ago, I came home to Fort Wayne for my last spring break as a college student. I was so excited to go home and do absolutely nothing. I was looking forward to relaxing, which is exactly what I did for that week. I told myself that I was going to really enjoy the break because it’s my last one before I become a real adult, before I go into the real world and start my career. Two weeks later, I’m still at home in Fort Wayne. 

Within those two weeks, the last month and a half of my college experience was ripped away from me in an instant. Spring break was extended a week, then we were told all of our classes would transition online for a week, then on March 18, an email came from University of Indianapolis President Robert Manuel that classes were online for the rest of the semester. The only question I had to ask myself was ‘How did this all happen so fast?’

According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 started in China on December 31, 2019 and then it started spreading rapidly. In order for the United States to stop and slow down the spread of the pandemic, they started closing schools, stores, and making restaurants only available for carry-out. Obviously, this was a huge change for society. Social media channels have been flooded with people expressing their opinions on the virus, everybody affected in their own way. For me, it was my senior year of college at UIndy. 

Ever since I graduated high school in 2016, I always told myself that 2020 was going to be my year because I made it through four years and would graduate college. Multiple classes, lectures, events and homework assignments later, I thought I was so ready to be done. I just finished two years as the president of UIndy Dance Marathon, I’m the Managing Editor of The Reflector and I have an amazing internship as an Editorial Intern at Indianapolis Monthly in downtown Indy. Unfortunately, I can no longer experience these things as I should be, instead I’m doing them online. 

On March 17, Purdue University President Mitch Daniels announced that they were unable to conduct their traditional in-person May commencement ceremonies. After this, I knew that it was only a matter of time before UIndy commencement would get postponed too. Then an email from President Manuel was sent to us a day later on March 18, letting us know that UIndy’s graduation was on hold. I was right. I’m devastated, to say the least, but the sincerity in his email telling students they would do their best to celebrate us made me feel a little better. 

As my mind continues to think about being back on campus, attending classes, hanging out with my friends and walking downtown to Monument Circle for my internship three days a week, I take peace in knowing I’m not the only one going through this. The whole world is affected by this global pandemic and it makes me feel better to know that we truly are all in this together. As I mentioned earlier, everybody is affected by COVID-19. 

Although I’m trying my best to keep a good attitude and remain positive during this time in quarantine, while making sure to pray a little harder and wash my hands a little longer, my heart breaks thinking about my last few weeks of my senior year of college. I suddenly don’t have a case of senioritis anymore and I’m wishing that the time could rewind so I could appreciate all UIndy gave me a little longer.