College in the Time of COVID
Before the pandemic, as a fourth-year college student, I was already very aware of time passing. Fall quarter, I completed my Bachelor of Arts in sociology requirements, freeing up my schedule to delve into fashion design and creative writing to fulfill my unit requirements. I planned a lighter class load for my final spring quarter, so that I could dedicate more time to my internship at UC Davis Magazine, my ongoing post-grad job search, and my friends, who would soon be scattered across the state and country. Although my final quarter at UC Davis was far from the expected, it was still memorable and equally meaningful. Here is a look at my final quarter, a remote one, at UC Davis.
Thursday, April 2
Although the quarter started on Monday, my classes started today with the fictional writing course that I’ve been looking forward to. Although the lecture was held over Zoom, my instructor was engaging and energetic and the small lecture size translated well for remote learning.
After I finished class for the day, I went to Northstar Park for a long walk and saw a beautiful sunset (photo 1).
Friday, April 3
The first Friday of the spring quarter — under normal circumstances, I probably would have dinner and a night out with friends. But tonight, I celebrated my friend’s 21st birthday over Zoom (photo 2). Although my friends and I physically couldn’t be together, tonight was the most socialization I’ve been able to do in weeks, which was exciting. We talked for so long we had to restart the session on Zoom more than once.
Tuesday, April 14
I spent the day in my friend’s yard, listening to music, and attempting to read over assigned class readings. I’m burnt like a crisp now.
When I got home, I had a remote meeting for Her Campus, an international online magazine for collegiate women. I’ve been an active member of Her Campus at UC Davis since my sophomore year. Since the pandemic, those meetings have become a designated time to catch up with everyone. Afterward, my housemates and I watched the sunset from a parking structure on campus (photo 3).
Sunday, April 19
A belated Easter package from my parents arrived today. I haven’t seen them since January when I was last home in the Bay Area for winter break. In the package, they sent some Easter candy, in addition to other goodies, like my favorite tea, paints and fresh lemons from their backyard.
I’ve been working on my ongoing essay assignment for my English class — to write a fictional 12-page story on any topic. I spent some time today brainstorming topic ideas.
Friday, May 1
My parents drove up today, and we picnicked in Central Park. We had to keep a distance between us, which was quite strange. We picked up sandwiches and sat separately in the park and caught up. Despite the lack of news I had to share, seeing my family made my day.
Saturday, May 2
Graduation pictures are a tradition I didn’t want to miss out on, so I reached out to Shannon, a fellow Strategic Communications intern, to take mine.
Today, we met at the brick UC Davis sign on A Street (photo 4). I hadn’t been to campus since the end of the winter quarter. We took pictures at many of my favorite on-campus spots, like the Quad, Arboretum, and the social sciences building. Despite the unpredictability of the pandemic, other graduating students like myself were on campus as well, taking their own pictures to commemorate their achievements.
Thursday, June 11
What started as a fairly normal workday ended with members of the Strategic Communications office assembled outside my apartment for a celebratory graduation parade. I felt so special being celebrated by everyone. I got a big goodie bag of UC Davis swag and a giant lawn sign with my face on it. I can’t believe my time here is coming to an end!
Friday, June 12
Today is graduation day. Although it wasn’t the commencement ceremony or graduation day that I have been anticipating, it was still an occasion. My boyfriend, Sam, came over in the morning with champagne and cake, and my housemates and I toasted and celebrated the end of our time together (photo 5).
We watched the virtual celebration in our living room, complete with chocolate cake for breakfast. I’m so lucky to have made the wonderful friends that I now consider family, some of whom I have known since my first week of freshman year.
The rest of the day was relaxing, spent in a friend’s backyard. For dinner, we ordered from Paesanos, my favorite, and spent hours talking until late into the night.