by Terra Giddens
Student at UC Santa Barbara
When COVID 19 became a serious topic in our community, my housemates and I were in the middle of planning our spring break trip. We weren’t sure how to understand the realities of the pandemic, and frankly, we mostly cared about getting out of our tiny college town and celebrating our senior year with copious amounts of food and partying. However, it became clear that this wasn’t going to happen. And thus, our quarantine began.
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We were 10 friends living in a house with 5 rooms, a decent common area, and a garage. Spring quarter was about to begin and we had to figure out where and when we were going to attend our classes, workout, get groceries, and just stay sane in general. One by one, our housemates began to go home to quarantine with their families and the result was about 6 friends isolated together in the middle of a pandemic. Breakfast became a 2pm affair, classes were sporadic and vague, and many of us developed an uncharacteristic affinity for going on walks. It was only about a month into this alternate reality in which our house became our world, and we were all mildly losing our minds.
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This was when we diverted to our bucket list. We had made one for our senior year of college, but of course it had to be altered, given the circumstances. Our nights of clubbing became dancing in our living room every week, going to a different country became going on a hike, and our graduation brunch became ordering door-dash a little too frequently. We spent most of our days as virtual students, interns, and employees. But when night began, someone never failed to ask, “Hey… want to hang out later?” as if we weren’t already literally together all the time. Pretty soon it all became the new normal, and I started having some of the most memorable experiences of my life.
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Whether it was dragging all our mattresses into our living room to have a “slumber party” or naming our garage a foreign country just so we could say, “Hey, remember when we went abroad last night?” my amazing, co-dependent group of friends and I always came up with something new and weird during one of the weirdest times in history. School, work, and play are all important. However, most fail to understand the pressures the class of 2020 experience to come out “okay” on the other side of all of this. I am proud to say that I am NOT okay and neither are any of my friends because the world is a disaster right now. But I would like to think that we stayed sane because we held onto each other as a community and encouraged one another to call our families, make that deadline, keep grinding, and most importantly, ask, “Hey… want to hang out later?”
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