By Nadia Beidas

     Lewis students are finishing the last month of the semester with social distancing in place. Over the last few weeks, we have adjusted to a new way of learning.

     Some of us are graduating, and going on to further uncertainty. There will be a significant economic impact. We are unsure of how it will affect graduating seniors, and students who are close to graduating.

     We will be looking for jobs, and the majority of us have student loans to repay. We might be fortunate in our field, as many jobs can be done from home. But it is still a pressing concern.

     We will face an economy where many people are out of work. Some of these people have years of experience and connections. Keep in mind, they will be interviewing for the same jobs alongside us, and we are all just starting our careers.

     Although this is intimidating, we must still try our best. We can use this time to work on our resume, and work on building a variety of skills. These skills are all necessary, and will be required as we are in a field of solving problems.

     The economy as a whole will be volatile for some time. There are those who lost their livelihood because they are unable to work from home, and they still have bills and other necessary expenses.

      Additionally, we see daily coverage of the economic impact on families. In some cases, people are driving and lining up for food. This is a very sad and heartbreaking scenario.

     Overall, we do not know when it will be safe to return to a normal life. We do not know how different our lives will be. But we do know the world we will face will not be the same.

     Perhaps we might adjust to new norms, such as wearing masks in public and continuing to keep six feet away from other people.  

     My hope is a vaccine will be developed faster than expected, and we will return to normal as soon and as safely as possible. 

     In life, we all face moments where life changes forever. Unfortunately, this virus is one of them.

     As a returning student, I remember the experience of September 11, 2001, and what we experienced as a nation. Our world and lives changed entirely that day. Our sense of security in the world was shaken.

     At the time, we did not know how our futures would change. And we worried for classmates who were planning to go into the armed forces, or the recent graduates who were already there.

     Although our country did not shut down at the time as is our current experience, yet there were many ways our lives permanently changed. I saw empty skies when it was usual to see a multitude of airplanes, and now I see empty streets from my window.

     Additionally, our normal patterns and ways of life changed. For some time, we were afraid to go into high-rise buildings and travel. However, as time passed, we chose not to live in fear, but to go forward. Eventually, we will all move forward and hopefully choose to live in hope.

     From a personal standpoint, I can recall another day where life completely altered. This was the passing of my grandmother in 2013.

     The lives of my relatives and mine permanently changed after her passing, and not for the better as we still miss her all the time. But it is a part of life, and we all had to move forward, though we will always remember and honor her.

     She was one of the kindest people I have ever met. She was the type who would reach out and help anyone, and everyone who knew her loved her. After she passed away, people from all over the country were coming to express condolences to my family for a whole year.

     I am fortunate she was my grandmother. I have a lot of happy memories with her, and we shared a lot of wonderful times together.

     My grandmother loved to tell stories of the past, socialize and she enjoyed happy occasions. Even though we had a language barrier, we would still find highly creative ways to communicate when someone was not around to translate.

     We both like music and songs in different languages, and this is something we bonded over. When I visited in the summers, we used to walk around her orchard and garden and sing together.

     One year, my mother and I had commitments in the summer and were unable to visit that year. In past summers, there were often weddings in the family during our visits. My grandmother jokingly told our relatives that someone needed to get married and have a big wedding, just so we could come over.

     My family visits were more fun when she was alive because of her lively spirit. We should all be so fortunate to have the privilege of knowing someone with this kind of spirit and goodness.

     I miss her stories and I miss the way she found humor in many situations. Every time I visit now, I still look at the places I used to find her in. I wish I could see her and talk to her again.

     My grandmother and others of her generation have always shared stories about their lives. They were always helping each other, and caring about other people. They were very close to each other, always enjoyed large gatherings and played music.

     It is always interesting to hear about how different socializing was in past generations, when they did not rely on devices. People made more of an effort to see each other and be together.

     I also hope, once we return to our new normal, that we will socialize similar to the way people did in my grandmother’s time. Sometimes, we are so wrapped up in our lives, responsibilities and devices that we miss chances to connect with each other person to person. When we lose that connectivity, we miss out on opportunities to for understanding, growth, reaching out to others and helping people. 

     We are forced to rely on our devices with social distancing, but hopefully we will go back to personal social interaction. As human beings, it is part of our nature to have social contact.

     Even though we are going through a difficult time, we can all work together for a brighter and better future. The human spirit is strong and resilient, as we all go through hard times and come back stronger and move forward.

flyertech_admin Department of Computer and Mathematical Sciences