Thursday, May 28, 2020

COVID Student Journal: I learned I need to have places to be and people to see to feel like myself.

(Student submission Spring 2020)




I guess right now I’m writing this to myself but who know who might end up reading it in the future. It seemed like a good a time as any to start to journal (although my therapists would say u should’ve started a long time ago). Since this global pandemic started plenty of things have changed both in my life and around me and they seem to keep changing every day. As people change makes us uncomfortable and I for one don’t deal well with uncertainty. This journal isn’t necessarily what happened to me each day during this quarantine but also things I’ve learned about myself, those I surround myself with and the world around me.


03/10/20- The first time I really felt like things began to change was at my job. I had recently gotten a new job at Olive Garden as a hostess. Business began to get a lot slower and we knew it was probably Coronavirus as well as students leaving early for spring break. Our management wasn’t doing a great job telling us what was going to happen and we hadn’t put many procedures into place to keep us and guests safe. My hours were cut so I really only worked about an hour and a half per shift because when I got there it was so slow they didn’t need us all.


03/12/20- This day I was excited to go to the Tally Cat Cafe because I had an orientation to be a volunteer. I had waited a month till the next one and was happy I was going to be able to take care of kittens and help get them adopted. The orientation itself was really good but they did tell us that if they were forced to shut down they wouldn’t need us as volunteers.


03/13/20- TCC’s decision to cancel in person classes for the remainder of the semester was a pretty big wake up call. I was saddened by the fact that I wouldn’t get to see my teachers anymore. With it being my first semester back in college after taking a break it was such a refreshing change to have teachers who really seemed to care. I felt like we had only really begun getting to know each other and I was looking forward to learning more from them and about them.


03/14/20- This day I decided to take my mind of everything happening and have a nice picnic day at the park with my roommate Jose. He was supposed to be graduating in a traditional ceremony from FSU so we discussed how he felt about the changes that were being made.


03/16/20- Work was still very slow and we could only have half our dining tables open. It was funny to me that people would come in and be surprised we were still open. They would say things like “it’s getting pretty scary out there right?” Or cough and then say “Don’t worry it’s not Coronavirus or anything.” For the first time I was scared that I was putting myself in danger by going to work around people who were still deciding to have a sit down dinner when they were encouraged to stay home.


03/18/20- I went to the grocery store today and before I went I was worried that I wouldn’t find everything I needed. I hadn’t been worried before because I didn’t think it was a huge deal but then heard about that the people who were panic buying. Shelves were empty, there weren’t eggs, so I got a bit more scared.


03/21/20- I decided to visit home for the first time since moving back to Tallahassee since January. While I was happy to go home there’s also times when home isn’t the best place to be. When I got there we had a great time and my mom even decided she wanted to get 4 baby chicks. The chickens were a great distraction from everything else happening.


03/22/20- This day u found out that my job would be closing. I was both happy and frustrated. Happy that I would be safer and frustrated because I felt good that I had a job and was making money and now I wouldn’t be able to for a while.


03/23/20- The transition to class online was probably what I was most worried about. Sometimes I let online work get away from me and I learn much better in person. With my routine nonexistent anymore my teachers made it easier by keeping us in the loop and being on our side.


03/25/20- Today my job reached out through our app and told us how emergency pay would work. Since I had only been there a few weeks my emergency pay check would be $10. I’m grateful that my family has money and that I’m supported by more than just my job.


03/30/20- Today I went back to the store with my boyfriend and was happy to find most of the things I needed so that gave me some relief. Made sure to social distance, and tried to get some school work done. Focusing was hard.


04/02/20- Today was my one year anniversary. I wish I had a great romantic story to tell you about a day with wonderful stuff planned. Sadly, we didn’t do anything. Not a card not a present. With everything going on I’d hoped to feel special, but was let down instead.


04/04/20- My roommate and I decided to make some home made masks today. Using a big t-shirt I’ve never used we made masks for ourselves. I try to do craft projects because they take up time and I’ve got a lot of that on my hands.


04/08/20- This day I spent cleaning. For a while I let laundry and some other stuff go. Since I’m spending so much time indoors I felt like I wanted to create a cleaner space for myself. I also planned to go home this weekend and wanted to come home to a clean and organized place.


04/09/20- This weekend my friend Jose and I went down to my home for Easter. He made a stop at his home for a night and then came to my house. My mom has asked if we would come and we thought it would be fun. I got to call a few friend on my 4 hour drive home which is always my favorite part. When I’m not talking on the phone I like to listen to the podcast My Favorite Murders.


04/10/20- This day my brother and went to the feed store to get more supplies for the chickens. While I was gone my mom ordered a coop and already had plans to expand it. I like spending time with my brother because we’ve grown a lot closer over the past few years and we usually have a good time together.


04/11/20- Jose got to my house for brunch this morning and we had homemade grands biscuit casserole. My mom made us “morning drink” which consists of champagne, Malibu, and any fruit juice but she used banana orange pineapple (my favorite). We really just hung out this day, started a puzzle, played with my dog, and hung out with the chickens. At night we made buffalo chicken dip and played Mario party, and finished the night with S’mores.


04/12/20- Today was Easter and my mom had plenty of activities planned as she always does. We started with decorating eggs which is always fun. Every year my brother decides to “see what would happen if he put it in every color” and every year it comes out the same purple color. Next we made a coconut bunny cake and then my mom made us hunt for our Easter baskets.


04/13/20- Today one of the weirdest things happened that I really never expected. While I was on my drive back home an ex of mine messaged me. I was shocked at first because I really thought I’d never hear from this person again. He really just wanted to talk and apologize for the (bad) way he treated me.I boil it down to guilt and boredom that made him reach out to me. I let him say what he had to and sort of feel relieved that it’s resolved and in the past.


04/17/20- Today my boyfriend made an attempt to “re-do” our anniversary and while it was better because we actually did something I felt like I was having trouble communicating what I needed and wanted in an anniversary. We’ve been having communication issues and it seemed to be coming to a head during this quarantine. We got into a fight and talked through it but at this point I’m needing to see real changes or I’ll have to make a change.


04/21/20- Today I wanted to get out of the house and give back to the community so I signed up to volunteer at Second Harvest. First I double bagged publix bags to be used for groceries. Then we moved on to pack non-perishable food bags that would be given out the next day. After that I moved on to shucking corn to make it look better for the families that would receive them. It felt good to be out of the house and it felt nice doing a good thing for others.


While this has been a time of worry and change I’ve also learned a lot about myself. I learned I need to have places to be and people to see to feel like myself. I’m saddened that my relationship has suffered because of this because I had hoped to grow closer to him throughout this. My job called the other day saying they were re opening and summer classes start next week. It’s hard to stay focused with everything happening and I don’t always feel like I can do it all. The fact is I don’t have time to rest really. I hope I can keep it up.