COVID-19 Effects on Me

It was January during an advanced English class that I first heard about COVID-19. It was in passing; something was happening in China. Little did I know that it would quickly find its way to my own life. Since then, many things have changed.

I have been working a lot less since everything was shut down. I normally work four part time jobs, both on and off campus, to make ends meet. One of my off campus jobs involves working in the home of a local woman. Unfortunately, her age and health make COVID-19 a major threat to her life. She and I have stopped meeting, and as she paid me a substantial amount, my income has dropped to about half of what it was before. This has made paying my bills increasingly difficult. The stimulus package will help, but it won’t fix my financial situation.

Not only am I worrying about my finances, I also have school to think about. This is my last term as an undergraduate here at EOU. Throughout the past four years, I have come up with a system of handling a full class load of 15 credits along with four jobs. With classes moved online, everything has changed. I am having a difficult time adapting to the online classes, and the worst part is that though all of this, I just feel alone.

I have four roommates, and two of them are also students. However, this does not ease the feeling of being alone in this. When I am on my computer, it is just me in an empty room with all of my classes and two of my jobs. Even though I know people that are also students, they are not in my classes and do not share the same specific experience that I am in. I miss being in the classroom with my peers and professors that I have gotten to know so well. The English department at EOU is small, and I know just about everyone. I have had most of the teachers, and I have been in class with all the English majors that are going to graduate this Spring.

I had planned to take classes with several of my favorite professors this term, but that hardly seems to matter now that classes are online. I was looking forward to one last class with everyone before I graduate, and that is not going to happen anymore.

The saddest part of all this is that I fear graduation will be canceled. While it is still scheduled to take place in June, everything up until the end of May has been canceled. I do not see the virus clearing up in time for graduation to be saved. I was really looking forward to walking in June. I wanted my family to come to La Grande and see this amazing place: this town, this valley, this land, this home I have made for myself. I wanted them to see what I have become.

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