Hope Osborn is a first-year theater and psychology student at South Dakota State University. She is currently completing all classes online from her home in Milbank. Her blog reflects on how her first year on-campus concluded due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Three weeks ago, we packed up to go home for spring break.
Finished midterms, said goodbye to our friends, believing we’d be back only a week later. Now we are all separated, taking our classes online, practicing social distancing and more aware of handwashing than we’d been. The news is constantly talking about COVID-19, and it feels like despite the fact we’re isolated, we just can’t escape it all.
This isn’t at all how I thought my freshman year would go. I didn’t expect spring break to get extended; I didn’t expect for “Pinocchio,” our spring children’s musical with State University Theatre, would get postponed to next year. I didn’t expect to be imprisoned by social distancing in my house for an indefinite amount of time. I didn’t expect to suddenly move home and transition to online classes for the rest of the semester. I, nor any of you, expected any of these events that happened so quickly in only two weeks.
For lack of a better term, this whole situation just downright sucks. I expected to be outside with my friends as the weather got warmer, maybe brave a late-season snowstorm or two, stay late at the Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center to rehearse theater and celebrate mass at the Newman Center every weekend. This isn’t how any professor, student or any other member of campus saw the rest of this semester going.
I think the most important thing to remember is that we are all in the same situation.
It’s important to remember that like every crisis, this too shall pass. It’s incredibly important to take care of yourself right now; go out for a walk, try to eat whole foods and drink water, and keep your sleep schedule fairly normal. Call your friends, set up a Netflix Party, and maybe send your professor an email. This time is also incredibly hard for everyone in education as they are trying to maintain a sense of normalcy for them and their students.
Do what you need to do to keep your chin up, and remember that time will go on, the sun will come out and we will one day be able to go back to lives as we knew it: perhaps with a new sense of gratitude. All of this certainly reminds me that I took life for granted, and when I go back—hopefully this fall—I will look at it all so differently. I’ll savor the little moments, from getting up early for an 8 a.m. class to getting ice cream at the SDSU Dairy Bar.
We all lost something we were looking forward to doing, but we all have something to look forward to now, together: the end of all this. Until then, the best is all we can do. Take care of yourself, stay home and wash your hands, Jackrabbits! It won’t be for a while but one day, we will all walk through the University Student Union again, we will go to a Jacks’ football game again, we will eat SDSU ice cream again … we will do it all again.