Interview and Introduction by Caroline Skou, Holy Cross '20
There are a thousand things that go through your head when you’re told that school is cut two months short. What about my friends? My studies? My sports? My career? It’s a time with more questions than answers, but the one fact that remains true is that you’re not alone.
We want to hear about your school closing down, your makeshift graduation plans. We want to hear about new living situations and zoom parties with friends. Have you picked up a new hobby, or resurrected an old one? And most importantly, we’re excited to share your story with the rest of our community. It's times like these where the strength and resilience of our generation shines the most. That's why #weareClassof2020
It's times like these where the strength and resilience of our generation shines the most.
To kick off the Class of MMXX Story Series, I've interviewed my friend and fellow Holy Cross senior, Marissa. Her experience and words have inspired me to find gratitude in this crazy new world. Here's more on her story.
It’s almost ironic that Marissa was in her Immunology class (branch of medicine and biology concerned with immunity) when she received the infamous email being sent out by countless administrations across the country - the college was closing two months early to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For most, the next few days were filled with packing boxes, making zoom accounts, and spending last moments with friends before returning home. This was not the case for Marissa though.
After I first saw the email, I knew right away that I wouldn't be able to go home.
Why wasn’t it possible for you to go home?
After I first saw the email, I knew right away that I wouldn't be able to go home. Earlier this year my mom was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, which is cancer of the bone marrow. And last Monday she had a CAR-T cell transplant, a form of cancer treatment. It’s supposed to be very effective, but It knocked out her immune system.
After talking to her doctors, they advised me not to go home. If I was a carrier of the virus, or even if I just had the common cold, it could be detrimental to her health. She doesn't have enough immunity to fight off anything. So, I knew it would be best if I stayed on campus.
And I’m going to try to get tested before Easter, so I can try to go home and see my mom.
If you weren’t able to go home, was it possible for you to stay on campus?
I was able to extend my stay on campus for a week, but I wasn’t allowed to stay indefinitely. It quickly became an effort to just try to make the best out of a bad situation. So many of my friends offered up their houses for me to stay for the next few months. But it’s hard to have that much time with another family. I knew it wasn't going to be the best transition.
So, my friend Mary helped find an apartment off campus, and a couple of other friends moved in to help pay the rent. Now we’re all just social distancing together, and it’s really made the whole situation so much easier. Helped me maintain a normal routine. And it’s been working really well. It’s like our own little hide away. And I’m going to try to get tested before Easter, so I can try to go home and see my mom.
Even just little things right now like doing laundry, lighting candles, having my own space have been really nice in this crazy moment.
Now that you’re in an apartment with you friends, are you passing the time in any fun or unique ways?
I’ve really started to read again. I picked up the book from winter break, Braiding Sweetgrass, that I had stopped reading when schools started up again. And I’ve really been able to keep my space clean and created an environment that allows me to be calm and productive. Even just little things right now like doing laundry, lighting candles, having my own space have been really nice in this crazy moment. I live so close to Holy Cross right now too; I always make sure to do a walk around campus. I actually went on a walk with a professor around campus, 6 feet apart of course, but still loved the interaction. Important to keep busy!
We will continue to highlight and honor the impressive woman who are apart of the class of 2020 like Marissa. These are unprecedented times, and it's important to support each other, and bring a community together to show the strength and resilience of the class of 2020.
We designed the MMXX Collection specifically for the trailblazing Class of 2020, with 20% of proceeds donated to No Kid Hungry. SHOP COLLECTION
We are Class of 2020!