Looking past the pandemic: hoping for a new normal

Lauren Bentley, Focus Editor

As we approach just past a year of the initial quarantine, people are getting vaccinations and are hopefully looking forward to a much safer and more exciting future. 

The pandemic caused a sudden pause in many people’s lives, “it has completely changed my life,” Skylar Boukamp ‘23 said. Many began to live in a way they weren’t accustomed to, as activities were canceled, with a very indefinite plan of reopening.

“I’ve really missed going to high school, college and sporting events, going to concerts, and traveling,” Maggie Bruemmer ‘21 said. 

The pandemic has put so much on hold and caused our normal lives to look much different. “I used to go to in-person school, and now I have almost done a whole school year online,” Bouwkamp said.

For many, both school and sports became subject to very uncertain futures, “Our swim season was cut short due to COVID-19 restrictions in the fall, and a lot of the non-profit boards that I’m on turned to having virtual meetings and fundraising events, “ Bruemmer said. 

For some, spending time with a limited amount of people has also been a struggle, “I’ve probably missed hanging out with groups of people! As well as missing the sports season,” Kamryn Kerr ‘21 said.  

Although it has been tough for many, the virus also made some reflections on what life used to be like. “I think that COVID-19 made me much more appreciative of things like being able to go to school in-person and hanging out with friends,” Genaro Ng ‘22 said

However, there is some hopefulness in looking towards the future of the vaccine. “I’m really hopeful the vaccine will help control the spread of the virus, which will allow our lives to get back to normal,” Bruemmer said. 

For Kerr, being positive is also an important part of looking ahead to the future. “I’m keeping my outlook positive by not worrying and knowing that even when things seem out of control…it is for a reason” 

Students have also been looking forward to specific activities that the virus has kept them from throughout this period of time, “I am looking forward to summer when I can go to the beach with my friends” Bouwkamp said. 

There are also many who are excited for when the sports season can be normal again, “I’m most looking forward to full capacity football games,” Jack Webb ‘21 said. 

Furthermore, “When things start to get better I hope I can see my family and friends more, and maybe go back to school in-person,” Bouwkamp said. “My mindset in the pandemic is to take one day at a time.”

With taking new steps forward, there is also a big conversation surrounding college, and what that will look like. “I’m hopeful seniors will be able to go off to college campuses in the fall, and that next year’s senior class will be able to enjoy all of the fun things that our class missed,” Bruemmer said. 

Overall, the pandemic has had a great impact on everyone this past year. However, many have found ways to look forward to the future while struggling in these uncertain times. Whether it’s keeping a positive mindset, or looking forward to sports and other activities, many students have become hopeful for the future past COVID-19.