How the coronavirus changed college life

CATEGORIES: Student Perspective
Megan Goodhue headshot
Megan Goodhue, sophomore in public relations

Editor’s note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Iowa State University has moved all spring 2020 courses to virtual instruction for the remainder of the semester. Students in Assistant Professor Laura Witzling and Assistant Teaching Professor Beth Haag’s Public Relations Writing (P R 321) courses wrote blog posts about how COVID-19 has affected their lives for the Greenlee School student experience blog. This post has been published with permission. 

By Megan Goodhue, sophomore in public relations

For many college students like me, COVID-19 has meant big changes and unexpected lessons. Here is what I have been going through during this time.

Transitioning to online classes

Having a class or two online is one thing. But for me, switching from all in-person classes to all online classes was a pretty hard transition. I think it took going online for me to realize that I actually enjoy meeting in person. I enjoy physically seeing the professor and my classmates.  It’s much more engaging and productive for me when I am in class. But with the uncontrollable turn of events, I have adapted to online lectures and Zoom meetings. It was a hard transition at first, but now it’s become my new normal.

Being sick during a pandemic

Talk about terrible timing. I found myself with a high fever, sore throat and cough right before spring break. I was planning on meeting my parents in Phoenix on March 16. But when I woke up with a fever on March 14, I was afraid this was not going to be the case. I went to an urgent care center on Sunday and was advised not to travel. With my family being gone, I found myself sick and alone at home for a week. I did have my dog, Jack, to keep me company, but there was only so much talking to him with no response that I could handle.

And to answer everyone’s question, no I did not have the coronavirus. Well, at least I don’t think so. I tested negative for influenza and strep but did not get tested for the COVID-19 virus. I plan to get some blood work done in a few weeks to see if I had it, but for right now, I am definitely working on social distancing.

New routines

With a new set of rules comes a new routine. I will admit I felt lost at first. Now that I live at home, my routine has totally changed. I’m not waking up at my normal time, making my bed, scrambling two eggs and going to class for the day. Okay, I have started eating eggs for breakfast again — thank goodness.

Everything just felt unorganized and adding online classes to that did not seem appealing. However, after a few days, I started to develop a routine and even made additions I did not have before. I get up at a good time each day and check my email. I lay out exactly what I need to do for the day and make myself a to-do list. I then follow this with a 3-mile walk with my mom, Tami. This has definitely become a highlight of my day and is something I didn’t get to do before. It’s been nice being able to spend more time with my parents. Even though I felt disordered at first, I finally feel like I have acquired a routine, at least for now. Consider this my “coroutine.” Or “quaroutine.”

My hope

As this pandemic continues, so does my hope for the future. Although it’s hard to find the good during times like this, I try my best to stay positive and know that good things are ahead. It’s hard not seeing friends, but it’s made the connections we have even stronger because we communicate every day. My friend Katie and I even use Zoom to chat and catch up now. I read a quote that really resonated with me during this time.

“In the rush to return to ‘normal’, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.”

I think we can all agree we are looking forward to our “normal” lives again. Online classes, unorganized routines, and being quarantined has taken a toll on all of us. But this time has also allowed us to reflect and reevaluate, things we sometimes don’t take the time to do, so we can be thankful for that.

Megan Goodhue is a sophomore at Iowa State University studying public relations with a minor in event management. She enjoys being a member of the ISU Club Volleyball team, hanging out with friends and playing the Campanile.