Disclaimer: During the duration of our closure, the staff at The Forge has decided to forego our usual weekly format. Instead, each day we will publish an article written by one of our staff members addressing their personal responses during this time. Therefore, the opinions expressed in these articles solely represent those of the author. We hope to return to our traditional publishing schedule soon.
1. How has your work schedule been affected?
I had in recent months starting working at a Chick-Fil-A at a local university. I was becoming one of those lucky rare people that actually really enjoyed going to work and getting to work for hours after school. In the beginning of this pandemic, my job changed for the better! My Chick-Fil- A was already being cleaned every day constantly throughout the day so not many things changed. The few changed that were made needed to happen a long time ago! The most drastic change was letting the students swipe their own cards rather than us holding them and scanning them. Otherwise, a few of my coworkers were no longer working by choice. Due to this, my friend and I got a lot more hours together which was super fun! It was a great few weeks but things changed very quickly.
I got a text from my coworker asking if I was one of the people fired in the first round of firings. I had no idea what she was talking about! In the next three days I got an email from my manager. Due to shortened hours they would not need as much staff and because I was in the newer group of employees I was being asked to stay home. I was upset for a few minutes but quickly realized how mad I would be if I was a more experienced worker being replaced by a girl that had just started. All in all, I will miss working at Chick-Fil-A but I will look back on my experience positively...It was my pleasure. :)
2. What do you think you will remember most from all of this?
I think I will mostly remember learning to play a few new card games with my mother. We realized that I did not know how to play a few different games that many others in my family are able to play. My mother took the time to teach me how to play (which was no easy task) and played with me a few times over the next few days. She is in the medical field so is working very busy days and is tired when she comes home. I just really appreciated her taking that time to be with me and truly project how much she loves me through making time for me (to totally beat her in cards) even at the end of her busiest days.
3. What do you miss most?
I miss seeing my friends in the hallway of the schools. I am a very extroverted person that loves to talk to people. So, not getting to see Bailey at lunch or sit and play Buzzfeed quizzes with Mackenzie and Briana in class is something I miss a lot. I also miss the walk to my car at the end of the day everyday. It always made me so happy to be walking up the steps and hear, "Kelsey!" behind me. I never knew which of my amazing friends I would get to talk to on that short walk from the steps to my car. I only knew two things: I did know I would always have fun talking to them and they would always want to "grab a few tic tacs" while they were at my car. Over the past year of walking to my car I have frequently wondered who would be the last person I would walk to my car with. So, on that note thank you Miss Bailey Alana for walking with me to my car singing the entire way before spring break started. I am gonna miss our post-marine biology talks and walks.
4. What places have you gone to since the quarantine?
I have only been a few places since quarantine started. I have been to the grocery store twice and Walmart once. Other than that I have gone on two bike rides with my friend Jake. I was really excited we were able to do this because it is something Jake and I have never done before. Other than one black snake at the end of our first ride it was a super fun time. I even hope friends and I will continue to do bike rides when this quarantine is over. Outside is beautiful! Who knew right?!
5. Not Getting to see Family
I have not got to see my mothers parents since this has started. They are both around 80 years old so I do not want to risk contaminating them with anything I may pick up. However, during the school year I visit with them at least once a week to talk with them. I have really missed getting to see them. Originally, I thought I could patch this situation by calling them instead however I quickly realized this did not help. I have nothing to tell them about. Usually, I tell them about my events at school, how my friends are doing and what plans I have coming up for the weekend. Because my social life has been so strongly affected by this, we don't have anything to talk about. This takes an aspect of her social life away. I truly hate this turn of events in our relationship but I would rather be safe than sorry and just hope I get to visit soon!
I am overall trying to take a positive outlook on things these last few months. I also don't want to sugar coat it:This sucks. Being a senior right now sucks. Not seeing my friends sucks. Maybe not getting a graduation sucks. Not getting yearbook day or a senior sports banquet sucks. I really hate being at my house all day and that the grocery store gets me excited now but we need to think about our alternative. This may seem bad now and yeah most of us students that get it would most likely just feel a little off for a few days and then be fine again. However, during those few days that we feel 'meh' we could give it to someone we love that it will affect much greater. I want to see my grandma a lot right now but I would feel a lot worse if I caused her death. I want to graduate but I don't want any other families that haven't been as careful as mine around my family. The point is that I am trying to look at the bigger picture. It is hard to be a positive person and those that truly know me know I am struggling to become one. I refuse to let this virus set me back. I am only choosing to jokingly complain about the things I am truly upset about because complaining isn't going to fix any problems and it certainly wont help any of my friends deal with theirs either.
Personally, I am also choosing to stick to my religion during this time of grief in the world. I can see how blessed my family has been throughout all of this and am very thankful to God for that. My sister and mother are both still able to work full time at their jobs and my dads hours only got slightly cut back. We still have their days at work to talk about every night at dinner which I realize not many other families have right now. I have a lot of stress from my senior project coming to an end but that gives me something else to focus on. My bike rides with Jake get me out of my house and my zoom meeting let me see a few of my friends again. I have recently got to reconnect with an older friend and get to talk to him a lot too now that we have free time. I am blessed in all that I have still got to do and choose to see this more clearly than what has been taken away from me. I hope my fellow classmates are able to do the same. The Bible verse that has helped me a lot recently is John 13:7 which I would also like to share " Jesus replied. "You don't understand now what I am doing but someday you will"