There was one thing that I looked forward to as my last semester at the University of La Verne had approached. Somewhere deep in my head I was slowly preparing for all of the goodbyes, the thank yous to my professors, my last Campus Activities Board events and meetings, my last hugs and warm goodbyes to faces that were no longer going to be part of my daily routine on campus.
I remember the scene very vividly when all of the ideas I had made up in my head had been shattered by one email stating that the remainder of the spring semester would be online. A couple of typed words had taken away what I thought the future of my last semester was going to look like.
Before the coronavirus sent many students home, my life at school was eventful to say the least. I am the social media editor for the Campus Times, I am a co-chair for the Campus Activities Board, I had an internship with the Pasadena Weekly, I worked at a restaurant in Covina, I worked for the city of Rosemead as the front desk person for the pools, I babysit my niece and I am a full-time La Verne student, along with taking a class at Mt. SAC. My life was consumed from the moment I woke up until the moment I laid my head down on my pillow.
As frustrated as I could be at that moment there was nothing that could have been done to help fix the situation that all seniors were thrown into. That might be the most frustrating part. There is no one to blame for this global pandemic, and there is nothing we can do, except stay home, maintain social distancing and vote for change in November.
The switch to online classes was a tough transition, but I tried to maintain a schedule that works for me, which honestly had not been easy. Some days were harder than others. At home there are many more distractions, family interactions and other life obstacles that seem to creep up and become a bigger priority than school work.
For a while I thought that my identity was defined by what I was involved in, but as I have transitioned into online classes, I have realized that my identity is more than what I am on paper. And as weird as it has been to say the long awaited goodbyes over Zoom as we struggle for some sort of “normal,” I began to realize that, online or offline, the people that have been part of my journey never wavered.
Although the goodbyes in my head look a little different, the emotions are the same. The last articles I have written, the last meetings, and the long awaited goodbyes are still filled with sadness, happiness and gratitude. I may not be able to walk across that commencement stage just yet, but that does not take away any of my accomplishments and my impact I have left at the University of La Verne.
Erica Rae Sanchez, a senior journalism major, is social media editor for the Campus Times. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.