Something Lost, Something Gained: Students reflect on a year of COVID

March marks one year since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. As of this week, nearly 530,000 Americans lost their lives to COVID-19.  Despite the devastation the pandemic caused, many found something they didn’t have before. This is the first in a three-part series focusing on what students lost and gained over a tumultuous year. 



Madison McIntire, freshman nursing major

Something Lost: First college experience

“People say high school is the best for years of your life but it’s actually college. I didn’t get the connected part of college, I was doing all the work but none of the fun parts which was really hard the first semester.” 

Something Gained: Time with family 

“I gained more time at home before moving away for school. I really learned what relationships are about and how to navigate that when you can’t see each other all the time. I feel a lot of my friends lost loved ones, we all lost people, sticking together and being close was a good thing that we shared.” 


Gabriella Nelson, senior public relations major

Something Lost: Opportunities

“I had an internship that I received before we went on Spring Break last year. I planned on starting when we came back to school, and we never came back.”

Something Gained: Self-perspective

“I had more time to spend with myself. I was working two jobs, going to school full-time, and was in a sorority so I didn’t really have time to do anything. Before, I couldn’t sit and spend time with the people that I really cared about, I worked myself into oblivion. I learned that I’m able to be by myself. You don’t always have to schedule your life out for it to work the way it’s supposed to. Sometimes you have to go with the flow.” 


Kyle Martin, freshman engineering major.

Something Lost: First college experience

“Since I’m a freshman there’s a lot of things that probably would have happened if COVID weren’t here, I don’t know what I’m missing out on. Even if it’s just programs put on by USI, there was a lot less involvement that I didn’t get at the start. Meeting people is kind of difficult because of all the masks and social distancing. It may be able to change next year but we won’t know for sure” 

Something Gained: Time to reflect

“Like everyone else, I got a lot more time to figure out what I like to do. I got time to do what I really want. After the first week, I learned that I’m a more social person than I thought”