I’m sure we are all tired of hearing about the repercussions of COVID-19, I know I am. But I’ll say it one more time for the people in the back, these are weird times we are going through. One of the weirdest adjustments that UT students have been making is switching to online classes. In the past 2 weeks, I have come home from my spring break trip early, disinfected what seems to be everything I own, moved out of my sorority house, had a voice lesson through Zoom, and attempted to figure out how to do school from home. I am sure I am not the only one thinking, “how did this all happen so fast?” This is not the way that I saw the rest of my sophomore year panning out, and I cannot imagine being a senior during this time.
I remember when my first Zoom class ended, the weirdest part was the silence afterward: you shut your laptop and are left alone in your room. There is no conversation with your friends, planning when you are gonna go to the library or running to catch your professor to ask them a last-minute question. There is just silence. And on the first day, that silence was rather apparent to me, but it is a silence that all of us are feeling right now. Trying to get into a new routine, whether that be meeting with people online, learning how to be productive in a different space, or attempting to share a small area with too many people is a somewhat silent and isolating experience. I am a music major, so this adjustment has been a bit unique for me. I have already had one of my classes canceled and been told that I need to retake another in the fall because we are simply not able to do a rehearsal online. I also have had to attempt to play the very old, broken piano in my living room to practice for piano class and voice lessons.
This season of adjustments makes me think back to the first Ukirk worship of the semester in January. At this service, we all got a small paper star with a word on it that could be a meaning for our year. I remember rolling my eyes when I saw that the blue star I picked out had the word “challenge” on it. Little did I know all that was in store for this semester. It sure has been a challenge, but challenges are meant to be solved and overcome. I am thankful for faith communities like Ukirk that are supporting us through this challenge and will lend a helping hand whenever needed. I look forward to the day in a couple of years down the road when I can laugh with my friends about how we all did that half-semester of online school, and I encourage you to do the same.