Five months have passed since I’ve last written for The Manhattan Globe. Compared to then, a lot has happened and changed. I’ve moved from Jersey City back to Rutherford, New Jersey. A couple minutes away from the now empty MetLife Stadium. I have lived here the last two years of high school, when I moved back north from Miami, Florida. Let me tell you that Rutherford is no Miami, Jersey City, or New York City. It’s the suburbs where every corner you turn you’re able to recog- nize someone you went to school with or someone who knows someone you know.
I came back to this town after my mom and aunt decided to go back to Miami in the middle of the pandemic. I honest- ly didn’t want to come back because I had put this town in my past, yet I had no other option but to return. I didn’t plan on moving back to Miami since I moved back up north for the city and for my future. I’ve struggled with coming back to this town for many reasons. One reason is that living here with a full house at my dad’s house is a bit overwhelming. It has been a bigger struggle trying to do my online classes with a house filled with siblings, parents, and grandparents.
The transition has been difficult since I’ve been living in quiet environments for the majority of my life. It has been tough being unintentionally disturbed at times by my fami- ly. My family has created a room for me and my studies, but that doesn’t resolve the issue of thin walls in the house. I can’t just tell my family to be quiet from 9 am to 6 pm on Mondays through Thursdays because I have Zoom classes and work after that so I have to just adjust to this new environment.
Not only do I have online classes, but my three young- er brothers alternate from in-person and online classes. One is in eight grade, one’s a sophomore, and one has started his first semester in college. They alternate from their rooms, to the kitchen table, to the back living room all day. I personally prefer to stay in my room all day. The boys usually have class from 8am until early afternoon. I don’t really see them doing too much homework, so after classes they go to the park that’s a couple houses down from us. On the other hand, I’m starting my days at 9am and ending around 6pm or later, depending on when my class ends and how much homework I want to finish that night. After classes and homework, I tend to hang out with my family or sleep. Ever since school started, I have felt more tired than how I was with an in-person schedule.
Since writing this, I’ve entered my third week of the Fall 2020 semester and it feels like I’ve been in school for a month. While writing, I went to double check how much time has passed since school started and it’s only been TWO WEEKS. I’m pretty sure I feel this way because more work has been given to me this semester than usual. Or maybe I just haven’t done this much work in a while? Either way, I am already tired. I hope this semester gets better because online classes are obviously not the same as in-person classes.
Taking classes online for the past two weeks have truly shifted my perspective on learning and the way I now learn. Luckily, this semester I took core courses like English, Litera- ture, African American Studies, Media Law and Ethics, and two Graphic Design courses. Out of my six courses, I only needed to purchase supplies for my graphic design class. Usually, for in-person classes, I took courses that needed camera equipment and more collaboration with my professors and peers. As a communications major student, it’s crucial for me to have that collaboration with them and the equipment for classes, and the same goes for all the other majors and their courses.
Originally I was supposed to commute to NYC on Mondays for my Graphic Design courses, but they were converted to on- line courses. Before I received the email that my courses shifted online, I was in the process of getting a COVID-19 test done. I had taken a test before August 24th as well as the antibod-ies test. When I found out that I had to get the swab test done after the 24th, as per NYIT requirements, I was going through the biggest dilemma. I ended up getting a swab up my nose and results coming out ‘negative’ for the third time. The same day I got my results, my professors for the in-person courses had then finalized that we were going to do the courses online now. A swab up my nose for nothing, but I am glad that I am not infected with COVID.
I continue to socially distance myself the best I can. I wear my mask, as you should. I wash my hands, as you should. I know times like these are tough, but if we continue to do the simple tasks, maybe this process of recovery will go by quicker. As you now know, the pandemic has affected people in many different ways, so know you’re never alone in this crazy time.
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The commute from Rutherford to NYIT Manhattan.