Our first full semester with COVID-19 is coming to an end.
Spring semester’s abrupt ending and “COVID Chaos” left many uncertain as to how our academic future would look. Many classes were up-ended or canceled. Over the summer, teachers and students alike had time to recoup and plan ahead, and we’ve seen the results of this planning this semester.
I’m happy to say that all of my music classes have been able to meet in some capacity. In orchestra, proper mask wearing and social distancing, combined with a break to allow the band room to air out, allowed us to rehearse normally. In choir, creative recording and audio editing allowed us to create music as a group. Smaller classes were split into groups, and private lessons were hardly affected, taking place over Zoom or in a bigger room.
My online classes, though a bit hard to keep up with, were manageable. I would have preferred a lighter workload, but I’m glad that I’ve been able to stay on top of things.
Composition has been difficult, since I’m spending so much time working on other classes or just trying to relax. Hopefully, things will lighten up enough after Thanksgiving Break and I’ll be able to focus on my composition project properly.
Mental health was certainly an issue. A lot of my time this semester (perhaps too much) was spent trying to take breaks and relax so I had the energy to finish my work. I started playing games with internet friends and my brothers over the weekends. I’m a pretty confident Among Us player by now. But the isolation of online classes, the stress of everything happening in the world and my own personal issues that I would have struggled with anyway, have taken their toll, and I’m looking forward to going home and spending time with my family and my six cats.
Overall, did this semester go quite how I expected it to go? More or less, yes. I expected us to have to shut down because of COVID-19 a lot sooner, and I’m proud that we’ve been able to stay safe so long. Hopefully, we can improve on procedures next semester and stay open the whole time.
I have a lot of hopes for next semester. Hopefully, there will be a COVID-19 vaccine or cure tested and safe by the end of it. Hopefully, we will be able to get through the semester without any major outbreaks. Hopefully, things will be better for me in a workload-and-mental-health sense. Whether these hopes are realized, however, is still up in the air. For now, we’ll have to do what we did this semester, and Spring semester as well — go with the flow, follow procedures, and stay calm.