Campus Life / Education / Health / Local

COVID-19 creates challenges for graduating senior at Norfolk State University

by Juwan Saunders

COVID-19 has greatly affected so many in various ways. There are new changes to our daily lives that we find ourselves trying to adapt to. No one knew just the impact that a fast-spreading virus would have on a nation.

I never knew how COVID-19 would actually affect me. Every day things were becoming less and less normal, I felt that my world was completely shifted. I watched friends and families lose jobs, homes, and even loved ones.

Just last month, I, unfortunately, had to bury someone close to my heart. My grandfather’s death changed my life forever. I lost my father, his son, back in 2016 as a senior in high school. Now this year, my senior year in college, I lost my other father, who I affectionately knew as “Papa.” Because I spent so much time with my grandfather throughout my life and even living with him at one point, this was a very hard “goodbye” for me.

I thought to myself nothing could be as bad as losing my grandfather. I was shortly proven wrong. Weeks after my grandfather’s death, my mother, my sister, and I all tested positive for COVID-19.

We’re forever thankful for a successful recovery, but the time spent in quarantine allowed me to take time out for other things that needed my attention. It gave me the time I needed and still at times need, to reflect on acknowledging my emotions deriving from the loss of my grandfather. Although grieving has no timetable, I think it was beneficial to have fourteen days that essentially reminded me to take care of myself physically and emotionally.

I work every day, and at times I have no energy left for school or myself. Throughout this time, I’ve learned the importance of making time for myself. I am usually the one who is there for everyone around me, but this time was different. It was different in that, I needed to be there for myself.

For anyone who reads this, I hope that the one thing you take away from my story is that your challenges are never meant to stop you in life. Rather, they come to you as a moment for you to pause and slow down. We are always in a rush in the majority of our daily tasks and so quick to move on to the next thing before we can even finish or process what’s right in front of us.