Brenna Roberts ‘21
School started in August, but I didn’t go back to campus. I was sent home before the end of my junior year. At that time, I didn’t realize I wouldn’t be going back.
I never thought Covid-19 could get this bad. I had every faith that things would get better and my senior year would resume as expected. But July rolled around, and things did not seem to be getting any better. I still tried to keep my spirits high and my mind positive by talking with fellow teammates about how excited we all were to get back on campus. I could not wait for my senior year and my final swim season.
When it finally came time to make a decision about whether to go back to campus, I didn’t even give it a second thought. It was my senior year and if the college was going to offer in-person classes, why wouldn’t I? However, my dad begged me to reconsider, telling me to think about it more closely. Even if I did get to go back and be with my friends, what was the chance that things were going to be normal? They couldn’t be normal with everything going on. Yet I still thought he was being paranoid and filled out the form to go back. I am paying my own tuition, so I can make my own decision.
A few days after the due date to make our final decisions about whether we wanted to return to campus, do remote learning, or take time off, we were sent an email explaining to us what we could and could not do while on campus this year. We were not allowed to have our cars on campus, we could not have visitors, we were not permitted to go off campus, and we would need weekly COVID testing. As someone with severe anxiety, this stressed me out. I knew these were precautions that needed to be taken, but reading them all at once made me realize it was not how I wanted to spend my senior year. Plus, I was worried that if we were sent home because of COVID, I would lose $7,000.
With a heavy heart, I contacted the campus to inform them I would be going remote for the fall. It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made, especially as a senior and an athlete. Seeing my team practice without me is extremely difficult. Seeing my friends get to live campus life (although very differently) and be together is difficult. It is hard and upsetting at times, but I do not regret my decision. I believe it was the smartest decision for me, personally. I have been training with my old club swim team and going to the gym almost every day. I also have been able to work every day, and because of this, I have been able to start paying off my loans.