Keeping The Pace In A New Space
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Sydney Rhodes in her room on the last day of classes (left) and her first day on campus (right)

As I steeped some tea in my favorite mug, I got ready to go to class for the first time since I left campus for spring break. This time, however, my routine looked a lot different from the rhythm I’d established of having morning coffee with my roommate and journaling before heading to class. Now, I sat in front of my computer and waited for the camera settings to boot up, 250 miles away from my residence hall.

The Trinity community and I have been taking classes remotely for nearly two weeks now, and it has been a crazy transition. When I think about everything that has changed since I left campus less than four weeks ago, it feels more like several months have passed. Back then, my friends and I walked around campus saying, “When we come back from spring break, let’s go see this movie,” or “After spring break, let’s do this thing.” Of course, none of us could have predicted that a pandemic would prevent our return to campus.

I got the email notifying me that I would not be allowed campus for the rest of the semester the Wednesday of our spring break. I remember sitting in my kitchen totally dazed. I had to move out. I had to say goodbye to all of my new friends. I had to close a chapter of my life that I felt hadn’t truly started yet. I realized that I was not going to get to watch my senior friends graduate, enjoy the last days in my first-year residence hall, or experience any of the things my friends and I had planned.

All of my classes moved to Zoom, and routines I had grown accustomed to in the last six months were out the window. Suddenly, the independence and the friends that I’d gained at college disappeared. It felt impossible to get any work done for the first two weeks back. I couldn’t find the motivation to keep up the pace I had maintained back on campus now that I was home. Fortunately, it didn’t stay that way.

I found a way to keep some of my old routines and adapted to living at home again. I still join my friends in Reformed University Fellowship twice a week through Zoom, and my Trinity friends have made it clear that 250 miles are not going to stop us from making memories together. We’ve made plans for many virtual movie nights, and we just signed up to live together in the fall.

Left: a computer, notebook, and pen on a table. Right: a computer on a Zoom call, with a dog lying down next to the computer.

As for classes, things are the same as ever, except now class is interrupted by professors showing off students whose dogs have managed to sneak into the frame. I found that keeping the pace got easier once I dedicated a space to my studies and timed things so that I could take a break from school with my family in the evenings. It’s not an ideal situation, but for now, we will continue to make the most of it. My dog and I will continue to attend my classes through Zoom, and the Trinity community will look forward to coming together again in the fall.

To share your own story during this time of transition, email marketing@trinity.edu.
 

Editor's Note:

This story originally appeared on the Trinity Perspective blog on April 3, 2020. 

Sydney Rhodes '23 helped tell Trinity's story as a writing intern for Strategic Communications and Marketing.

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