From the Editor's Desk

From the Editor’s Desk: COVID-19 Has Helped Me to See College Differently

Mary Chappell | The Phoenix"One thing I’ve enjoyed the most is being able to slow down and take in the beauty of campus and the great outdoors," writes Editor-in-Chief Mary Chappell. Pictured is her friends taking an early morning swim in Lake Michigan.

I’ve found that half the battle of dealing with the bummer that is online classes is seeing the beauty in a changed routine.

It’s easy to be disheartened about how COVID-19 flipped the world upside down. I’ve definitely had some low points while scrolling through old videos and photos of gatherings, concerts and even funny clips from what used to be my normal routine of running from class to class at Loyola.

But, as I’ve settled in for what’s now been a few weeks of classes, I’ve been able to experience college from a different lens.

I’ve enjoyed being able to slow down and take in the beauty of Loyola’s Lake Shore campus and the great outdoors. While the nice weather is short-lived, I’m trying to take advantage for as long as possible.

I never realized how much time it took me to commute on the train or intercampus shuttle. Now that that’s been scratched from my routine, I have a little extra time on my hands. I’ve been able to carve some time out to take walks through campus and sometimes stop to sit by Lake Michigan to watch the waves crashing on the rocks. Very zen.

It’s also fun — if you can set time aside for a midday nap between Zoom classes — to wake up early enough to see the sunrise above the lake. My small group of friends took a dip when the water was calm one morning, and let me tell you, it was so peaceful. It definitely goes down as one of the best college memories.

The Phoenix’s downtown newsroom is closed this semester, so a few of us local staffers get together Tuesday evenings on the east quad — wearing masks and social distancing — to edit stories and prepare for publication the following day. I’ll be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever sat on the quad until this semester, but I love the fresh air and pretty views. A nice bonus is when News Editor Kayleigh Padar brings her cute and calm senior citizen rescue dog, Howard. 

With past roommates, I’ve been known as the one who’s never home. I attribute this to hanging out at friend’s apartments frequently and running from Phoenix obligations to internships to acapella rehearsals, but I don’t really have to go anywhere anymore due to most activities being virtual. COVID-19 has helped me learn to stay put and appreciate how cozy my apartment is.

If COVID-19 has taught me anything, it’s been to appreciate the moments and activities that, in non-pandemic life, may be overlooked.

As Ferris Bueller — a wise, wise man — once said: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

I’ve definitely stopped to look around.

In news this week, find a story on increasing COVID-19 numbers throughout Illinois and how Loyola’s nursing students are navigating coursework during the pandemic. In opinion, find a staff editorial pushing students to refrain from large gatherings.

In A&E, read about how Loyola’s arts program is adapting to online classes this semester and find an interview with “Tenet” star John David Washington. In sports, a guide for watching European soccer and a feature on some Loyola athletes’ hobbies.

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