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Sarah Abbott ’21

It can undoubtedly be said that this past year at Santa Clara was one of, if not the, most unconventional years a college student could experience. When COVID-19 first immersed itself in our Santa Clara bubble towards the end of last winter quarter, I do not think anyone had any idea that it would end up resulting in classes remaining online for another year and a half. In fact, if you had told me last winter that this would have been the outcome, I probably would have started crying on the spot.

However, I do feel that I, and our greater SCU community, have learned to adapt to our given circumstances, and make the best out of the conditions we have been given. Although, this adaptation and acceptance has not always been easy; there were countless moments where I desperately yearned for “normal life” to return, even though it felt like I was slowly losing touch with what “normal life” consisted of.

One of the periods throughout this year that was the most challenging for me was this past January, when myself and two of my best friends contracted COVID. I vividly remember waking up one day, and feeling sick in a way that I had never experienced before. Although I had been as careful as I possibly could have been in terms of seeing people and social distancing, I knew that what I was feeling was no normal head cold or flu.

I immediately went to get tested, and remember so clearly the sinking feeling I got when my test results came back, splashed with a huge, bolded-red “POSITIVE” at the top of the page.

In many senses, I was lucky; I had contracted COVID at the same time as two of my best friends, who I also happened to live with. This was hugely helpful, as we were able to quarantine together, look after one another, and also keep each other entertained.

Days came along where my morale was low and I was feeling especially sick, and my best friends helped me to remain as positive as possible; and I was able to do the same thing for them.

My professors were all also so understanding and kind, which was immensely helpful when dealing with the stress of a full load of college courses, on top of an extremely intense virus.

Overall, I think the thing that got me through contracting COVID-19–and this year in general–was the support from those around me. If this year has taught me anything, it is that it is okay to admit when you are struggling, and to show vulnerability. It is within those moments that we so often find the greatest amounts of support from our friends and loved ones–support that is so necessary in terms of continuing on through this pandemic, and throughout life in general.  

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