It’s crazy to think that one year ago our lives as university students changed overnight. Going from a bustling quad of students to an eerie, barren campus within a week will likely be one of the most memorable experiences of university.
There was a buzz in the air. There was an intro level Psychology exam at the end of the week with people from all departments studying. It was the heaviest assignment for the class, which meant tons of group study sessions in lounges. The day before the dreaded exam, there was a provincial order to limit gatherings of over 250 people – our psychology class was over 300. Shortly after that, an email was sent out postponing the test. I’m not exaggerating when I say you could hear cheering throughout the dorm hall, but little did we know, that would be the start of online education.
It seemed that everything changed on March 13th, 2020, when an email was sent out at 6:37 pm to all current UVIC students that suggested a transition to alternative methods of learning. Walking out into the hall, everyone was confused. No one knew how our residence services would process this. Our questions were answered when the default move out date was pushed to March 27th. I can’t tell you what happened if you couldn’t move back home, but it seemed at least half of my dormmates moved out before March 20th. The campus was eerie, and reading all those news articles in my packed-up dorm was making me sick to my stomach. I was really lucky to be picked up a week after March 13th, but university was never the same after that day.
I remember this diary trend going on with many people on TikTok writing their experiences to look back on. I did this for a week, and it sure is interesting to see how the world has changed in a year. Some memorable quotes from my written diary include:
When the border was restricted: “I am officially freaking out now.”
“7 new cases on Vancouver Island since Saturday. Thirty new cases in BC overall. I am terrified that if I don’t get out now, I never will.”
Having my priorities in check: “One good thing happened today, I got my Animal Crossing Switch”
The ill-fated sequel: “Tomorrow I am going to cancel my Animal Crossing preorder so I can get a digital copy.”
While I do want to stay lighthearted and end with the mild obsession of playing Animal Crossing, I would also like to say writing these experiences did allow me to remember how adjusted we are to unprecedented times. With a year of subconscious stress under us, please take care of yourself during this final stretch of COVID.