Reality Check

April 13, 2020

As Spring nears, the temperatures rise, flowers bloom, the sun sets later, car windows are rolled down, lighter clothing comes out of the storage closet, and rain becomes apparent–yet my mind is scattered and my heart is lost.

The weather may be enticing, but the day is simply an excuse to what life was once like. Life has been flipped upside down and the course of history is changed forever.

The vast spread of the virus has led to extreme changes in everybody’s lifestyle. I find myself at a loss for words sometimes and my learning program is being accessed completely via online resources.

I don’t know how I feel about it. As always, I pour my heart and soul into my schoolwork

My schoolwork might actually be better than ever but that’s because I’ve spent a countless number of hours into what school has become. The assignments have week-long due dates rather than the usual return a couple of days later.

My days are filled with a bright screen in front of my face. Little black letters start to swirl around my brain as word after word becomes ingrained into what I once called my intelligence. My brain is jumbled and exhausted.”

I find myself to be quiet and that’s not usually me. I’m probably the furthest thing from quiet, to be honest. I am an outgoing, energetic human being that always has a pep in their step. But the pandemic has really died my energy down. I can feel my heart still pounding with happiness, but it only lessens with each day.

Things haven’t quite hit the fan for my family and me. We’re making do with the circumstances and trying to stay positive. But there are days where we get emotional and frustrated. Days where my mom can’t help but cry because there aren’t any more Walmart pick-ups scheduled for the next two weeks. Or my little sister starts to get anxious from hearing about all the scary statistics being spat out on TV. Or my dad being worried he may bring the virus home from work.

I’ve actually held myself together quite well. I kind of despise it though. I wish my body would let me cry and be angry at the events occurring.  Surprisingly, I am okay. I’m a little shook up, but genuinely okay.

Life is hectic with the transition of online classes and my heart hurts for humanity and all the lovely souls that I miss so dearly. Sitting around and knowing that I can’t go to my favorite record store or go to work or shop at the grocery store without wearing a mask; it’s unreal. It’s not normal. It’s not right.

This pandemic has taken a toll on us all. It has become oblivious to me that our world wasn’t working before life became difficult. Life may have been worse when we were able to interact and shake each other’s hands.

I find this phenomenon to be a possibility for life to re-do. For a hit of the refresh button to bring a type of peace that’s so rarely found. For a world that’s for once not filled with hatred and disgust, but rather joy and graciousness for what we’ve fought through. My heart longs for the goodness that could come out of humanity after this, but only time will tell the outcome.

Again, I am okay. My heart is less than full, but my spirits are highish as I get through each and every day with a smile that’s only a bit forced in hopes that in a few months all will return to normal.

Yet normal has been thrown out the window.

The quarantine has allowed me to focus on my studies, write, listen to music (so much music), and ponder about every little statistic that’s just glaring brightly on each swipe of my screen.

Weekdays consist of makeshift school work and online class meetings where I’m constantly having to turn the wifi back on and off in order to understand what my professor just said.

I’ve set in place a daily routine and I find that I rarely break it. There’s just nothing around for it to be broken. Maybe that’s sad or maybe it’s just reality.”

My head feels like mush as I wake up with an on-again, off-again headache. I take medicine yet it’s beyond that now. My pain isn’t a headache, but rather a heartache. Of everything that I’ve suddenly lost and that has disappeared right in front of my eyes.

I write this with unknowing and frustration. I think with uncertainty yet hopefulness. I long for light and for my heart to be full again. I hope to see my loved ones soon but have begun adjusting to what our “new abnormal” has become.

The world may never be the same again, but I just hope that the right spark will send us forward rather than three steps back.


The Decaturian isn’t in your hands on a weekly basis but we’re still here, trying to give a voice to Millikin students. That being said, we’re giving you our stories — how we’re getting along in a new world. This is part assignment, part reporting and part recording the world we live in now.
These first excerpts are from Newswriting students and Decaturian reporters. But we’d love to hear from you as well. Tell us what your life is like. And send a picture of your experience. Send your story to Athena Pajer and Sydney Sinks at [email protected]
Thank you and stay safe.
– The Decaturian Staff

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