All across the world, COVID-19 has resulted in an almost total shutdown of daily activities. Any facility deemed unessential has closed, and routines have come to a startling halt. For me, this means that my senior year of high school has been put on hiatus until further notice.
As the virus continues to spread despite the recommended practice of social distancing, my first year of college will undoubtedly be affected, which was a realization that consequently placed me in a state of anxiety and uncertainty.
Upon my acceptance to UNC-Chapel Hill in late January, I began to picture what my first year would look like. I imagined studying in Davis Library, rushing Franklin Street after a big win and spending quality time with my friends in Granville. However, as a result of the continued spread of the virus, I feel deprived of the chance to be prepared for my first-year experiences.
I am worried that move-in day will be less bittersweet as more meticulous and severe precautions are required to ensure that I am living in a safe environment. Iconic campus traditions, like drinking from the Old Well on the first day of classes, might be prohibited. In my large intro-level classes, preventative physical separation could prevent relationships from forming. The likely changes to rush week might result in a loss of initial closeness and bonds that Greek life communities are built on.
During this unprecedented time, I understand that extra provisions will be taken to ensure safety, but I can’t help but be jealous of the chance to be prepared for the conventional first-year experience. Because of COVID-19, Admitted Students Day was cancelled and the only 'campus visits' have been moved online. Now, my classmates and I will no longer have the opportunity to be as prepared as previous classes. We are unable to create in-person connections before we arrive for classes, and some students must even decide on their school without ever getting the chance to visit.