Wolverine alumni experience pandemic from college


Ashley Huynh

Catching up with Watkins Mill graduates during COVID-19 across the country.

From the Village to the Big Apple, and from in-person to virtual learning, every Watkins Mill graduate’s college experience has been unique this year. 

Despite the pandemic, these former ‘Rines continue to make Watkins Mill proud.

To report on a city, normally “you have to go talk to people, or go to city council meetings and you lack that ability [during the pandemic],” said Sarah Elbeshbishi, journalism major and junior at the University of Maryland, who attends classes virtually.

“Everything you do is either through Zoom, phone calls, email, or text. Sometimes it’s hard to get ahold of people,” Elbeshbishi added. 

Some ‘Rines have undergone serious lifestyle changes during the pandemic. Nadia Makmak, an International Relations major and freshman at the University of Southern California, flew to Los Angeles for the second virtual semester. “I’m most proud of myself for [moving to LA] because it’s honestly been the time of my life,” Makmak said.

College is “more engaging when I’m in LA. Me and my roommate…sit next to each other and use one laptop for Zoom,” Makmak added. “I feel it’s just a little bit closer to being in a classroom.”

University of Rochester sophomore Andre Tulloch opted to attend some in-person classes virtually.

“It’s just hard to feel comfortable [learning in-person], when I know at the end of the day,” Tulloch said,  “some people that I’m interacting with, have to go home to their kids or loved ones that could end up getting affected by COVID.”

Taking mental health breaks “has allowed me to release myself from the obligations of school,” Tulloch added. “If I’m not mentally supporting myself, how am I going to be able to do the things that I want to do properly?“

Without the flexibility of online school, “I wouldn’t be able to put as many hours in my internship,” Elbeshbishi said, who helps with social media for her second internship with USA Today.  “I’ve worked Election Day and [Donald Trump’s Second] Impeachment, and all these things where I might’ve not been able to otherwise.”

“It’s important to keep in mind that everyone is going through something and if you’re not on your A-game, that’s fine because it’s not a normal time,” Elbeshbishi added. “Each day is a new beast.”

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