COVID-19 winding down creates hope for next year

Celeaciya Olvera

I think we can all agree that when COVID-19 evolved into a pandemic no one knew what was going to happen. Jobs and schools were being shut down and no one knew for how long. On March 13, 2020, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced that all schools would be closed until March 30 to stop the spread of COVID-19.
I remember watching what was happening all over the news and wondering what was going to happen next. Being a senior in high school at the time, my main priorities were to graduate from high school, pick a college, then attend that college. Being in a pandemic for over a year means we all have gone through hard times. Hopefully, next school year will be a lot easier.
During the first semester of college, everyone in school had to follow rules such as having to wear masks every day, keep our distance and limit our trips off campus. 
For commuter students, we had more freedom to leave because we live within the area. For myself, I did try to keep the rules in mind that my fellow students had followed as well.
As we got to the second semester, it seemed that the school was a bit more relaxed with the rules set in-place from the beginning of the year. Once the weather started warming up, everyone was excited to go outside instead of having to be stuck in the dorms. With that being said, COVID-19 was also the reason we didn’t have a spring break, which was extremely hard for everyone. 
With the second semester of college in a pandemic almost to an end, we have struggled through the hard times so now we know what to expect if pandemic regulations continue. Augustana and many other schools have announced that their schools will go back to how they taught pre-COVID.
When talking to teachers and professors, they all seem to want to see the student’s faces again. Coming from not only a student’s perspective, but a person that needs a visual classroom environment, I completely agree.
As I am sure no one is a fan of having to wear masks every day, the Biden Administration had recently announced on Tuesday, April 27 that anyone fully vaccinated would not have to wear a mask in small, vaccinated gatherings. As a country, we are slowly making small steps going back to the way everything was before COVID-19. 
That in itself is going to be easier for everyone to be more involved with each other and to have a sense of normalcy that we all have been craving for a long while. As long as we all work together to better understand each other, whether that is struggling from COVID-19, or needing a day or two to fix what is happening in our lives, we all can have an easier transition in going back to how things used to be taught in schools.