Camryn Mathews, English

Students find silver lining in their unprecedented COVID summers

Summer is usually a time for students to go out on vacation, spend time with friends and enjoy the good weather, but for Camryn Mathews, a second-year English major, summer was different.

“A usual summer for me consists of working, concerts, hanging out with friends. This summer, however, my work was closed until the middle of July. There were obviously no concerts or fests. Overall, there just wasn’t as much to do with COVID-19,” said Matthews.

It was hard. Mathews loves to go to Lollapalooza in Chicago during the summer. She went the last two years and was looking forward to this summer’s event. It was canceled.  Instead, she picked up painting as a hobby and she read more. 

She also had to cancel a planned vacation.

“I was supposed to go to South Carolina, but we cancelled our vacation due to COVID-19 cases spiking back up,” Mathews said.

But she also had some good times.

“One thing I loved about quarantine was all the free time it gave me that I usually would never have before,” she said. “I loved being able to wake up every day and choose what I wanted to do to keep myself occupied around my house. Having what seemed like unlimited time to lay out, read, paint and sleep felt so relaxing and nice.”

In the end, Mathews found a new normal for herself, even putting up with COVID-19 safety guidelines.

“Wearing a mask at first was kind of difficult to get used to but now I can hardly even tell the difference from when I’m wearing one and when I’m not,” she said. “I’ve grown used to it.”