Maria Uribe is a rising senior at Wake, majoring in biochemistry. She traveled to Australia her junior Fall and also spent time exploring Fiji, Thailand and Indonesia. After returning to Wake for just a few weeks, Maria went home to Miami to quarantine. Maria reflects on her crazy transition from independently traveling around the world to isolation back home in Miami.
Her Campus: How did you feel when you first heard the news from Wake Forest that Spring Break would be extended due to coronavirus?
Maria Uribe: I was very surprised but mostly shocked that the pandemic had gotten so serious that Wake had to cancel classes. I had heard the news of other colleges canceling, but Wake announced much later, so it was especially shocking after hoping for better news.
HC: How has independently traveling around the world first semester been a tough transition to living back at home in isolation?
MU: It’s hard because I feel like I went from traveling everywhere and being able to experience new things and new places every day to having to be home for an indefinite amount of time. I went from one extreme to the other so it was definitely a tough adjustment, especially living with my parents again after having so much freedom as an adult at school and traveling.
HC: How have you been spending your time in quarantine?
MU: I’ve been staying at home, focusing on my studies and spending time with my family as I try to pass the time. I keep myself entertained by watching movies, reading books and working out, and I try to create activities to try to create a sense of schedule like I had at Wake.
HC: Is there anything you would have done differently, had you known we wouldn’t come back to Wake for your junior Spring?
MU: I don’t think I would change anything. I was very lucky to have had the opportunity to travel and experience everything that I did in the first semester and I would not change that at all. I really hope for the rising juniors that they have the same opportunity to study abroad as I did, as it was an essential part of my college experience that came with new opportunities and travels.
HC: What do you miss most about Wake? And how do you plan on spending your last year at WFU as a senior? Has your mindset changed?
MU: I mainly miss my friends and the routine I had at Wake. I plan to spend my senior year appreciating everything Wake has to offer and spending time with my friends as often as possible. I also think it’s important to not take things for granted and to say yes to new experiences. Studying abroad in Australia allowed me to push out of my comfort zone, being so far away from home, and gave me the experience to visit other islands and countries that I may not have ever explored.