The news announced that COVID-19 was a pandemic when I was on spring break in Fort Myers Beach, Florida on March 11. Soon, I got the mass email that PNW was not returning to face-to-face classes for the rest of the spring semester.
I was in 85-degree weather, sunshine and enjoying morning walks to the beach. I was not that concerned. The severity did not feel real when I was busy soaking in every moment of my vacation. However, it began to sink in when I got to the airport to return home.
The airport was ominous, lacking the usual hustle and bustle of people. Everyone in the concourse had the same thought.
Spring break ended and online learning was the new normal.
The hardest thing about this has been the adjustment to Zoom conferences and Blackboard posts. It was not the same atmosphere that I am used to learning in. For some of my classes, professors have tacked on small assignments every week, making it a bit more stressful to keep up. The quick disappearance of communication with my professors and peers discouraged me.
This was my first semester taking 18 credit hours, and when all of my classes transitioned to online, I felt a sense of panic. I am a person of routine. The changes I had to make made me doubt if I could handle what I signed up for.
If anything positive has come from these changes, it’s that I have taught myself how to quickly adjust. Rather than stressing out over new formatting, I found ways to make these new situations easier. Utilizing my online calendar, creating folders for each of my courses on my laptop and creating a schedule for myself to stay on track at home.
The endless days spent at home have made me savor any moment of free time. While keeping my school work on track, the online format has given me more time to walk my dogs, read a good book and value more moments with my family.