Shaken by the Virus

Shaken by the Virus

The original plans I had for spring break involved a trip to Texas. I was supposed to be one of nearly 20 students to attend the 2020 SXSW festival. I was looking forward to it for two reasons. The first one being I had never been to Texas before and the second was because the festival itself is so unique because it doesn’t cover one specific thing so that means the “theme” is everything. It seemed interesting and I had planned out my trip as it had been recommended to do and then it was all canceled, just like that. So, my spring break plans simply involved me going hometown but that soon became less appealing as the virus was clearly taking over everything including where I live permanently in New York City.

So instead of making the rush back I took my time. I am glad I approached my spring break like that. As I was preparing to go home for an extended period once I learned of the university’s decision to not just go online for a week but then the entire semester I was surprised. I was surprised not necessarily by that decision, although I could see why that could happen, I was more so surprised by having to leave my on campus living arrangement. The place on campus I lived in was essentially separate from the main campus and was apartment style living. In my mind there didn’t seem like a need for there to be a call to make us leave given the fact that as residents we rarely interacted especially for those that lived alone, like myself. The email left me in a tailspin trying to figure out how I would have to quickly pack and let my support know that I was indeed going to have to return to New York City sooner rather than later. This was in my opinion not needed to through students like myself in a tizzy trying to be the most flexible while also just accepting what it was.

I’ll admit me and any version of change are not always on the best of terms and I understand that it is indeed a part of life but sometimes it really does suck. I rarely let the news of the day get to me but this is probably one of those times where it really has impacted me in ways that surprised me. I get that this virus is not a joke and should be taken seriously. I also think however that in a case like mine where I was in a safe place and was keeping my distance and interactions low with just about anyone that this was a bit extreme.

Those in high administrative positions may have tough calls to make, I understand that. I also understand that in making hard decisions it is done to protect all. However, I also believe that the best thing to do is to let the student decide. If the student is also supposed to be deemed as adult as those in administrative positions than treat them as such. Provide the option even if they must sign a waiver that whatever happens upon their decision to stay is strictly on the student and no longer on the university than I think that’s fine. It’s about trusting and being on equal footing when it comes to decisions and if that’s not going to be the case than whether graduate student or undergrad what is the point of being considered an adult if you’re not actually going to do it.




Camille Daniels