I was a senior in high school when the pandemic started. Only two months before graduation, I remember being told during a tennis scrimmage that schools were going to be closed for the next two weeks to get past COVID-19. Not only did the schools never reopen, but I lost my prom and a graduation that stopped me from finally saying goodbye to my classmates that were leaving the state for college. That last day was also my first Varsity scrimmage for tennis, and I never had a Varsity year until then, which caused a bit of grief to begin to build up.
Fast forward past the summer, I enrolled at UMBC and entered the fall semester with a great mindset and ready to try and work in my classes from home; little did I know, after midterms that semester my motivation for my classes would suffer greatly. During this time, some of my cousins got married (I didn’t get to go to the weddings), some extended family members passed away (I didn’t get to go to their funerals), and I began to understand that my then current major of mechanical engineering wasn’t for me. In addition, it was extremely hard trying to work in college from home without the physical connections I needed to be happy. So, to save myself from a deteriorating mental health, I took the following spring semester off and worked, then returned this last fall full steam ahead.