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Staying positive in these troubled times

  • Thursday, April 30, 2020
    Parys Lassiter

    Editor's note: The transition to all online classes prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented adjustment in the journey to realize the goal of earning a college degree.  Here's one undergraduate's perspective

    By Parys Lassiter

    Things have been really interesting and nerve-racking to say the least since the decision was made to shelter-in-place. 

    I have accepted the challenges that were placed upon us, but to be honest it has been difficult at times.  I am at ease with the online classes.  I have been taking classes online since high school. 

    Some classes, however, I prefer to have in person - such as English - but I am making the most of it.  I am enjoying the Zoom (online group) meetings and seeing my classmates - when they decide to show themselves. 

    I do miss my friends, although I FaceTime with them almost every day. 

    I was upset my internship with the Maryland General Assembly ended abruptly. 

    I was right in the middle of legislative hearings, where I was starting to see my work researching bills being discussed.  I was learning a lot from Del. Benjamin T. Brooks Sr. from Baltimore County, who represents the areas of Randallstown and Reisterstown, and I was looking forward to learning more. 

    I also wanted to get more involved on campus and look into how I might fit into recognized student organizations. 

    I am not complaining, I am just disappointed these aspects of college life have been put on hold. 

    I have been making the most of my time by keeping up with my classes and spending time with my mom and grand mom.  I have been learning to cook to keep busy and to stay positive. 

    Initially, I did not want to watch the news on television to get constant updates on COVID-19 until a close friend of our family lost her battle to the virus.  We were not allowed to attend the funeral, but we did FaceTime (with) the family to offer our condolences and share fond memories. 

    Meanwhile, in my free time, I have been running errands and getting essential items for my grand mom so she can stay home and be safe.  I'm actively looking for a summer job, too. 

    I worry about my mom. She is an essential employee at Johns Hopkins University's Wilmer Eye Clinic. She goes into the office almost every day. 

    But we all are being as safe as possible.  I was excited to see the email from the university about room selection for fall 2020.  It gives me a glimpse of hope that things are slowly returning to normal. 

    I hope all my fellow Hawks are well. Hopefully, we will see each other on campus soon. 

    Parys Lassiter is a junior majoring in criminal justice from Owings Mills.  His goal is to attend law school so that someday he can provide legal aid to those unable to afford an attorney.