As we approach one year since the COVID-19 shutdown, students reflect on the positives

On March 6, 2020, students completed their last day of classes on campus before the world was met with the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 11, 2020, Quincy University announced that athletic events would be closed to the general public, and on March 13, it was announced that there would be an extended spring break followed exclusively by remote learning.

In a press release from March 20, 2020, QU announced the closing of all campus buildings to the public due to the State of Illinois shelter in place order.

“We will get through this challenging time, we will stay safe, and we will be stronger than ever,” QU president Brian McGee, Ph.D., said.

Students and teachers began participating in Zoom and Google Meet classes, turning homes into classrooms. High school and college seniors participated in virtual commencements and graduation ceremonies, leaving little room for normal senior festivities and memories.

One year later, college students have navigated remote learning. Some have even graduated or taken on a new journey. People everywhere have witnessed historic events and valuable lessons that have since shaped the future.

People have taken part in quarantine trends, like watching Tiger King, becoming the family barber, adopting pets, doing TikTok dances, online shopping, cooking, and supporting local businesses like Carter’s Coffee Bar.

Audrey Ancell has explored new hobbies and found ways to relax.

“I’ve picked up on reading chapter books. I’ve found this year extra challenging as it’s been hard to get out and about or to hang out with friends and family because of COVID-19, which can really take a toll on individuals’ mental health,” Ancell said. “So, anytime I have free time I try to read a book rather than watching TV or staring at my phone.”

Students have also taken advantage of their time spent outdoors.

“The weather has been beautiful lately, so I also take as many walks as I can during my free time to help cope with any stress,” Ancell said.

Alyssa Steinkamp has explored journaling and working out to better her mental health.

“Working out has helped me tremendously, because not only do I just overall feel better about myself, but it takes my mind off of things and puts my mind at ease,” Steinkamp said. “Journaling is something I started during the pandemic to get my feelings out on paper. This helps me because after I’m done writing I feel at ease.”

Students have also learned how precious time truly is.

“Don’t take anything for granted,” Ancell said. “We have the freedom to do a lot of things and to have those privileges restricted is a big eye-opener. Also, live every second like it’s your last, because you don’t know when it’s your last time doing something.”

“It’s crazy how you take things for granted, including normal life in general,” Steinkamp said. “I’m so grateful for life now and take every second in.”

“I have become so much more positive,” Steinkamp said.

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