About the series
The "Auburn voices from the pandemic" series is an oral history from The Plainsman of COVID-19 and how people are being affected by the disease.
As told to Destini Ambus
Jarious Avery, freshman in biomedical sciences, is one of many first-generation college students returning home after experiencing a sliver of college life. The coronavirus forced Auburn University to close its doors, and now Avery is stuck in his home, trying to juggle schoolwork in the middle of uncertain circumstances.
I just miss everything being normal.
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The main difference with now and when I was on campus was that I had others who were going through the same things I was going through, taking the same classes and could relate to me more. Being at school, hanging with my friends, going out to parties, being in actual classes instead of online classes.
A typical day for me now is waking up at around 10 a.m., drinking a cup of coffee and hanging out with my family. I usually don’t touch my schoolwork until about 4 to 5 p.m., and I usually only write notes. I normally do not start actually completing assignments until about 10 pm. I spend the other time throughout the day scrolling on Twitter or taking a nap.
The adjustment to remote classes wasn’t difficult in the sense that we already did a majority of the assignments online, but it is difficult in keeping up with the assignments and actually having the motivation to study and learn the material. I’m also experiencing difficulty having a quiet and comfortable place that I can focus on my school work at, and it’s nearly impossible to go anywhere besides the grocery store.
Dealing with this new way of life is hard to navigate by myself. I’m just stuck in the house with my family, and they don’t really know anything about college or how that works. At Auburn there’s a lot of people who are willing to help and to listen to you, but that only seems effective when you’re face to face. With everything being locked down, it’s kind of hard for others to really be able to do anything with you or for you. I mean we have things like Zoom or FaceTime, but it’s just not the same.
Then the fact that no one of our generation has experienced anything like this and no one really knows what’s going on, it just makes everything very difficult, including school. I get anxious about how things are going because of the uncertainty of everything and how the news is steadily creating panic. I watch the news at least an hour a day. To relieve stress, I watch YouTube videos of places all around the world.
I was supposed to go on a study abroad trip and a medical research program over the summer. Both programs have been cancelled. It has made me a little worried about the future of the world — after this is over.
Read the first installment in the series: Dr. Fred Kam, medical director at the Auburn University Medical Clinic, on what a day in the office entails during the pandemic.
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