April 16, 2020

Did you change your spring break plans because of the virus? From what to what?

Originally I was volunteering for SXSW with Dr. Garza’s Popular Culture class and afterwards I was going to visit North Carolina. After SXSW got cancelled, I planned to go to North Carolina earlier, but practically overnight that also changed and I instead travelled to my parent’s home to stay after we were told to move out by Res Life and have been there ever since.

How did you feel when you were informed the remainder of the semester would be held online?

I feel sad and frustrated. It’s a whole period of time in college I won’t be able to get back. I live on campus and my roommates and dorm are a second home to me. It was disappointing to have to move out so quickly. I worried about my grades especially – many of my professors didn’t depend on online resources in the first place so I worried how my courses would work out and how my grades would be affected.

Where will you be living while courses are held online? Is this a change from usual?

I am living at my parent’s house in Lakeway, Texas. I usually am only here during the summers and I sleep in their guest room. It’s strange to work from here because I depended on the campus library for resources and a quiet space to work. It was a way to separate where I relax from where I do my work so this change took some time to adjust to.

What has been your experience with moving classes online? What’s good? What’s not so good?

So far, the workload has been pretty much the same as before. Not all of my classes meet on Zoom and those that don’t are harder to manage. I like being able to see my professors and classmates and being able to ask questions. It’s difficult to learn some topics and do the work without the classroom setting. It’s difficult to keep track of assignments especially since everyday seems to merge into each other during quarantine. Being at home and away from campus has made me less motivated to do my work. Overall, I think this won’t affect my ability to pass this semester but I think my grades would be better and I would have learned more if classes had continued in person.

How has the virus (and the precautions taken to prevent it spreading) impacted your daily life?

I have to be careful because I live with my grandmother. I can’t go out for anything but food and a walk in my neighborhood. When I do, I wear a mask. I can’t see my friends or my other two sisters, one of which was exposed to the virus. I had to bring my dogs to the vet the other day and I wasn’t allowed to walk inside the clinic, instead they came to my car and I handed my dogs to them through my car window.

How worried are you about getting the virus?

I don’t think I am at high-risk for getting it. However, if I did get it, I wouldn’t be able to leave my room because I couldn’t infect my parents or grandmother because of their age.

Do you know anyone who has gotten COVID-19?

My aunt got COVID-19. She lives in New York.

Are you staying in? What are you doing to pass the time?

I stay inside mostly. During the day I will take my dogs for walks, do my homework, and have meetings for my job. I’ve been baking, watching movies, and playing board games with my sister.

Are you going out? Where do you go and what is it like?

I go out occasionally to get groceries and for take-out. There are many local restaurants around still open and struggling at this time so when I don’t feel like cooking I go and order from them. Going to HEB is strange because there are signs telling you where to stand in order to maintain social distancing measures and there’s plastic barricades between you and the cashiers. Instead of music playing on speakers, it’s constant PSAs about the virus. There’s a lot of employees stocking shelves and signs telling you how much of an item you’re allowed to take at a time. They even count how many people come in and out at a time. The newsstands are filled with papers whose headlines read, “Stay Home!” It’s scary and feels like something out of a movie.

What is giving you hope and/or strength right now?

I work for a summer camp over the summers and through May and April we normally meet in person to prepare and train new employees. All of this is cancelled in person, but we are still meeting over Zoom for these things, planning (as of right now) that camp will go on starting June 1st. Looking forward to work starting and getting out of quarantine is giving me hope and hope that the Fall 2020 semester will go on as normal after summer.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about what you’re feeling or experiencing right now?

Right now I am unsure of what to expect in the future and if things will ever go back to being the same. I am bored and I miss my friends and I miss St. Edward’s. I hope this ends soon. I am worried for myself financially and for my health and wellbeing.