Home Coronavirus One Year of COVID-19 Reflection: Kaia

One Year of COVID-19 Reflection: Kaia

COVID-19 protocol signage across campus. (Breegan Petruska/The Collegiate)

By Kaia Zimmerman

COVID-19 started during my senior year of high school. The hardest part was I didn’t know my last day of school would be my last, and I didn’t know that my last softball practice would be my last. Softball was my everything. I played it all year round and I loved it. Since I was a freshman on varsity, I had dreamed of the moment where I would have the senior night and be a captain, and then everything just stopped. My season got canceled, and it all went away. I didn’t really care about the school part, but not being able to play my last season was tough for me.

The other senior girls on the team were my best friends who I had grown up playing with and we didn’t get to have our moment in the spotlight like all the seniors before us. I had to deal with that, and for me, that was the hardest part. People would always ask me how I felt about it and I hated that. Even though the lockdown took away my senior season, I am so lucky because my family, my friends, and my girlfriend have all stayed healthy during this time, and even though I wasn’t the happiest about the lockdown, I know it was necessary to keep everyone safe.

To be honest, once I got over losing part of my senior year, I saw the lockdown as a blessing. I was so stressed at the time. The lockdown gave me the ability to take a step back and take a break from my normal, stressful life, and just hang out with my family while making whipped coffee and watching tik-toks. I didn’t have to worry about school, softball, band, or any of the things that I was so worried about before, and I was just able to relax. My extended family lives right next door to me, and we all just hung out, grilled out, and played basketball. It was a break I needed. 

Through this experience, I have learned to not stress over the little things. I have anxiety over the smallest of things, and I realized when the lockdown happened that all those little things can be just taken away in an instant. I was always stressed with school, being a section leader in band, and softball. While the lockdown took all those things away from me, it made me realize instead of stressing over the hobbies I enjoy, I should just enjoy the experience. 

My college experience started out very different than what I thought it would be, but I am just going to try and enjoy my college experience as much as I can throughout the next few years. I have learned a lot about myself through this experience and I think that will help me in the future.