One year ago this time, The Sunflower staff had a meeting where we brainstormed ideas and questions we had about the coronavirus.
Most of us thought that it was an overreaction.
We talked about student health, classes, foreign exchange students, international students, and more.
Now, one year later, the coronavirus is a part of our daily life.
One year ago, we could relax in the Rhatigan Student Center with friends, without masks, not worrying about a virus.
Just a few days later, we got an announcement that we were moving online for two weeks. A couple days later, it was changed to the entire semester.
Even now, as you walk around campus, you are reminded of the series of events that striked us a year ago. The once alive and bustling campus has been replaced with a much quieter and social distanced atmosphere.
The Rhatigan Student Center— which was once the main hangout spot for students— has become a much less congregated place. All tables are distanced— with many only allowing one chair.
The majority of students we have talked to hardly ever come to campus, a huge chunk of them only have online classes. What started as an extended spring break turned into a year of mask-wearing, keeping six feet apart from our neighbors, and waking up to new COVID case numbers every day.
Since that pivotal week when our world got turned upside down, nothing has been the same especially within the Wichita State community.
In September, our president resigned. In November, our long-term head basketball coach resigned after allegations of abuse.
We have a different president, a new coach, and an entire new sense of normal.
We’ve lasted a year. For some, it’s been a year of growth and personal reflection. For others, it has been the worst year of their lives.
But just like when we went online unexpectedly last March— Many of us still have a lot of questions.
When will the university go completely in-person again? When will it be safe to attend a party? When can we hug our loved ones safely?
Remember this time last year. Remember how fast things can change, and just how much we don’t realize that we sometimes want things to stay the same.
Let’s go into the next year with a new sense of hope, reality, and wide eyes for the future.