COVID Chronicles is an ongoing series of personal accounts from community members near and far during this global pandemic. For our first installment, Neil writes a letter about his experience as a Senior at San José State University and an intern at San José Peace and Justice Center. To share your story, click here.
Greetings and salutations my friends,
My name is Neil and I attend Zoom University. Just kidding! I currently attend San Jose State University (SJSU) and I am a Senior that will graduate this coming Fall 2020.
Life as a student is different now. We have to meet with our class on Zoom and do virtual school activities. All you have to do is wake up and turn on your laptop or smartphone and log in to Zoom. It’s pretty fun to see how your classmates are doing, especially when you have a morning class and everyone is still in their pajamas!
There are times I do miss waking up early, getting ready to go to school, looking for parking, and walking to my class while I breathe in the cold San José morning air. Seeing different students, faculty members, and guests will not be a thing for me anymore now that my classes are online.
The one thing that I miss the most is seeing all my friends and physically meeting up with them at the Student Union or going to the library to study together. They were the reasons my school experience was really enjoyable. Even though it is for the best, we can’t meet up in order to slow down the spreading of COVID-19.
It is sad to hear about graduating students at SJSU this semester who are unsure if they will have a graduation ceremony. They may not get to experience their accomplishments the same way that college graduates typically do. I know some people who want to postpone their graduation until Fall 2020 because they want to feel excitement and relief as they walk across the stage to get their diploma.
Before COVID-19, I was really looking forward to completing my internship at the San José Peace and Justice Center. Now my internship is on Zoom. I miss opening up the space with Tara, Michele, and Kyle. I remember helping Tara to hang the peace flag that a community member donated to us this semester. I miss looking at that flag every time I went into the office because it gave me a constant reminder to always strive for peace each day.
I feel less productive since I’ve been home because it’s those small things that I see on a daily basis that motivate me to work hard. Whether it was studying with SJSU students or working with the SJPJC team to help community groups, I truly do miss interacting with people physically rather than using video, phone, or text messages. When this is all over, I am going to give everyone I see a high five or a hug!