On the Homefront
Major: Communications, Minor in International Studies
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
How do you feel about everything that’s happened in the past few weeks?
I would say it's been, honestly, really sad for me. You know, being a senior. This was literally like the last thing that anybody would've thought would happen. I am trying to remain really positive about it, but I think it's just a really uncertain time. And also, it's still just kinda surreal to me that this is how I'm going to remember the end of my college experience. But at the same time, I know that this is a situation that's a lot bigger than me and my schooling. And so I’m trying to remain positive.
Were you living on or off campus when they decided to close the university?
I was living off campus. I had an apartment. I am back home in Wisconsin. My parents were super worried about me running around in a big city and taking public transportation everywhere. So, they were just really adamant on me coming home and just being safe here… every time I come home, it's kind of weird because it doesn't really feel like home anymore. You know? I feel like Chicago has been a home for me for, you know, three and a half years already.
Now, it's been really weird because I'm not sure if I'm going to apply for jobs in Chicago. I don't know if I'll be there for awhile. It's different because when I visited home before, I knew I'd be coming back. But now, it's like I might not.
What do you think you’ll miss the most about Chicago?
I think the hardest part is definitely not getting to say goodbye to some people, and definitely the people are the ones that I'm going to miss the most.
I feel really lucky to be able to go to a school that is in such a big city, and I think that's what I'm going to miss a lot too, because where I'm from, we have a city, but it's nothing like Chicago. And so I think also just feeling independent. I'm gonna miss that a lot too and just getting to continue to find out who I am as a person. I don't think I'm going to stay in Wisconsin for my entire life, but at this point, everything is just so uncertain that I'm still kind of holding onto what I had in Chicago and my life there. I’m going to miss that a lot.
How do you plan on staying focused, motivated and positive in a general sense?
So, I think one of the main things that has kept me going is just the amount of people who have reached out to me and tried to say positive things, like this will pass. I'm just trying to remember that. I think that this time, like I said before, is a time that nobody ever thought was going to happen to us. So even though it's difficult, I think in a way it unites a lot of us, especially a lot of the seniors, a lot of my friends. Just kind of remembering that again, this is happening. It's hard not being able to go to school anymore, but it is a situation that's bigger than all of us. We had a lot of really good memories. I'm trying to hold onto those and trying to just remember that when this is all over, we're all gonna be a lot more grateful.
How has this crisis shown you the beauty in humanity?
I am super grateful for all the health care workers who are literally risking their lives to try to help as much as they can. My parents are actually both in the medical field, so I kind of see how difficult it is for them, but I think it's really inspiring to just have those people.
When everything is all over, hopefully humanity can be a little more grateful for what they have and be able to move on from this as best as they can.
How has your transition been to online classes?
It's been okay. I think it's hard sometimes for me to remember that I'm still in school. I've never taken an online class before. Especially since I'm at home, I feel like there's kind of a lack of motivation there, but at the same time, I am pretty grateful to still be able to go to school online. It gives me something to do, and it kind of keeps me connected to my professors and my classmates at school. It's been weird, but I'm definitely grateful for the online classes.
Interview by Sydney Owens. Condensed and edited for clarity.