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I remember the moment exactly. It was March 10, 2020. I was a Freshman on spring break, living my best life at Willowbrook Mall. My friend and I (who was wearing an MSU sweatshirt) passed two other people in the mall who asked us if we saw the email. I checked my phone to find an email saying the break will be extended a week, and we will not be returning in-person, but online. It was such a surreal experience. To be completely honest, I thought the school was being extremely dramatic. I remember calling my mom thinking this was good news. Looking back, I am so embarrassed at how naive I was. 

The week after that was a whirlwind. In two days I went from being in a mall with no mask to being isolated in my house for three months. 

While the outside world was scary and unhealthy, inside I was actually becoming the healthiest I ever was. When 2020 started, I was very overweight and depressed. I decided to dedicate my time at home to eating well and working out. I managed to lose 84 pounds throughout the year of 2020. 

In these past two years I also started dating my boyfriend. It is crazy how COVID played such a big role in that. We started dating late August of 2020; however, if COVID did not exist, he was actually supposed to be gone, studying a Semester at Sea in a school program. If that were the case, I don’t know if we would’ve started dating. Looking back, I find it ironic that a disease that pulled so many apart also brought so many together. 

While I pray we never experience anything like this again, I would be lying if I were to say I did not miss some aspects of lockdown. I miss the long FaceTime calls and outside visits with family and friends, the late night conversations with my brothers, the daily three hour walks and even binge watching shows like “Tiger King.”

Here we are, two years later, and I would say, to sum it all up, I am proud. I am proud of us as a community getting through this. I am proud of the doctors. I am proud of essential workers. And I am proud of myself, not only for getting through this, but for trying to find some good memories intertwined through the scariest time of my life. 

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Hailey Mayewski

Montclair '23

Hailey Mayewski is a Junior, journalism major at Montclair State University. She is excited to be a new member of Her Campus Montclair.
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