Q&A: Students reflect on pandemic

As the one year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic approaches, “The Hawk Eye” asked some students to reflect on the past year and their experiences. Here’s what they had to say: 

How did you initially feel when the pandemic began compared to how you feel now? 

Junior Audrey Weed: When it began, I was worried and sad that we couldn’t do stuff. As selfish as it sounds, I was relieved [to have a] break where life just stopped. It was nice to slow down, but now this is annoying. I just want it to end. 

Junior Ian Boggs: I was still in denial. I was a lot more hopeful [in the beginning], but as we are approaching our one year anniversary, I’ve seen a lot of things that are not hopeful for our country — even when we’re out of this virus. I’m definitely not in denial now. 

Senior Ainslee Adkison: I feel like when [this] first started, I didn’t know how to feel. It was new and I was very confused by the whole thing. [We didn’t think that it] was going to be around for [this] long, whereas now, every time I think about doing something or planning something, I have to think about COVID and its impacts as well.  

 

What do you remember about your last school day before the pandemic began? 

Weed: It was just a normal day. I [didn’t] really know what was going on. We knew that a lot of the schools had not been going back, but I didn’t think anything like this [would] happen.

Boggs: I remember I got to school, and I had my WHAP exam. I was feeling great. [My teacher] said that we would probably miss the next week after spring break, and I [thought] it was awesome. It was actually a really good day. 

Adkison: We never expected to not come back for the whole year. It was more of like a joke [because] other schools were getting their spring breaks [extended.] It was just weird being in school not knowing [if] we were going to come back. 

 

What is something that you miss doing from before the pandemic?

Weed: I miss seeing people’s faces. I just miss it being normal. 

Boggs: [I] definitely [miss] spur of the moment plans and being able to just pull up to someone’s house unannounced and hang out. I miss that a lot, especially now that I can drive. 

Adkison: I miss being able to go out and seeing people’s faces and their expressions. I miss having that aspect of interaction with random people you would see when you go out or on a walk. 

 

Is there anything the pandemic has shown you to not take for granted?

Weed: I’m not going to take for granted any of the things I have, [like my job,] because I know that life could be a lot worse for me right now. I’m not going to take my family, or what I have, for granted. 

Boggs: The relationships you have with friends. You have to learn how to keep those even if you can’t see each other in person all the time, which is really hard, [and have] trust that you’ll still stay friends even though you can’t show it as easily. 

Adkison: I took for granted [being] able to interact with people and seeing their faces. Also, [going] out with friends without a moment’s notice and not [having] to bring a mask. 

 

What is something you are looking forward to doing after the pandemic is over?

Weed: [Worshipping] at my church. Having the masks on and being six feet apart [isn’t the same] as being close to somebody when you worship. It’s just so much better than feeling like you’re isolated. I’m just excited for normal worship. 

Boggs: I was supposed to have a pool party a year ago; it’s still supposed to happen [after the pandemic.] I met a lot of friends online this year, and we’re thinking about doing a meeting [after the pandemic] with all 17 of us, which will be fun. 

Adkison: I’m looking forward to college and in-person cheerleading competitions. I want college to be a normal experience. I’m also looking forward to when I’m in the car and [won’t have] to worry about if I have my mask with me. I’m looking forward to a sense of normalcy. 

 

What has the past year taught you going forward? 

Weed: [To not take] experiences and freedom for granted. I’m going to enjoy my life experiences more.

Boggs: If we don’t try to do something about [a problem] and hold ourselves accountable, we won’t fix [anything]. [It also taught me not to] overthink relationships with friends. They probably have a lot on their mind, so just keep your trust with them.

Adkison: In the past year, so many opportunities have been taken away; it’s taught me to not take things for granted, live in the moment and to not push things off.