Student Perspectives on COVID-19

Kimmie Collins Marketing major, Entrepreneurship minor, Class of 2022

Spring is normally my favorite time to be on campus. The world awakens from its winter slumber, trees shower the students with blossoms as they walk to class, and Sycamores young and old eagerly await the first time the fountain gurgles to life.

This year, spring felt different. We left campus for the year before the first buds appeared on the trees and before the fountain had begun its cheerful dance.

Kimmie CollinsDuring spring, we tried our hands at online learning. We discovered how to host meetings of student organizations virtually. Most importantly, we showed our love for others by staying as far away from each other as possible.

Every aspect of our lives has been touched by the coronavirus, and several of my classes incorporated discussions about the virus’s lasting effects on business. As a marketing major, I’ve been especially fascinated by the shift in advertising and promotional techniques. Television advertisements focus on heartwarming stories of families adjusting to the new normal. Companies are designing creative new products to keep up with the rapidly shifting environments. We learned firsthand how businesses adapt to change, and my professors encouraged me to apply these concepts to class projects, making even bleak times a positive learning experience.

Although I missed the energy of campus and laughing with my fellow Sycamores, I used the social distancing period to spend more time with family. I also discovered that I love studying in my backyard when weather allows. The sunshine helps me be more productive and reminds me that even this storm shall pass. The wonders of social media and video calls kept me connected to my friends and to my student organizations, shrinking the distance between us. Watching my fellow Sycamores come together to stay apart showed me how supportive our Indiana State family continued to be, making me even more eager to return to our beloved campus in the fall.

Michael Smith Marketing major, Sales and Negotiation minor, Class of 2021

It wasn’t easy. It was tough to do schoolwork, attend class, and plan next semester without being on campus. Being home all day, staring at a screen, was a tough and sudden change. But I learned a lot.

While classes were different online, I found myself becoming better organized. My ability to Michael Smithget work done early improved and I found my habit of procrastination dying off.

I found myself valuing friends and loved ones more. People say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, and I personally found that to be true. While doing homework, I wished friends were there, laughing, joking, and disturbing my focus. I missed the hilariously foolish moments we would have, and I found myself constantly in anticipation of the next chance we’ll have to make them.

COVID-19 taught me patience. There is an end to this and it will come. We simply have to wait, have faith in those who are working endlessly, and listen to experts. COVID-19 taught me that I have a lot of room to improve in my daily life. I often have little time to myself in my busy life, and less time for reflection. That has changed. Finally, COVID-19 taught me a new way to value the love that I’m given. Every day, the people that I love make sacrifices for me and show me how much they love me in ways large and small. I’ve come to value, respect, and cherish those acts more than ever.

Upon returning to that ‘normalcy’ we all crave, my first act is going to be thanking those that I love for all they do for me, and for putting up with me through all of this.

Remember, we can and will get through this.

Story contributions by Kimmie Collins and Michael Smith.