What it’s like to move across the country during the COVID-19 epidemic

Aspen Bishop

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During this global pandemic, we all have been impacted by change. We can’t see our friends, we have to wear masks, and we have been stuck inside quite a lot. What if you had to move across the country amidst all of this as well? How would you deal with two types of extreme change at the same time?

Well honestly, it is really hard. I moved from small-town, southeastern, New York to Layton, Utah in March, the beginning of quarantine. My last day of school there was everyone else’s last day of school for the rest of the year. 

On the academic side of things, I not only had to adjust to online learning but a whole new curriculum! In New York, I took Algebra II, here I was supposed to be taking some weird Secondary Math class? I still don’t know what it is called. They also require different amounts and types of credits that they didn’t require where I used to live. I have to stack my schedule full of electives in order to catch up. Let me tell you, having a completely full schedule during your senior year is tough. It’s good that I’ve had Senioritis since Freshman year though, I’m rather used to it by now. 

The Social Scene is probably one of the hardest adaptations that I am still going through. On the first day of school, I freaked out because no one had explained to me how lunch worked! “Where am I supposed to go, What should I do?” was running through my head. I still don’t know completely. At my old school, we just had one room and everyone ate there. Sure, there was a newly built senior lounge next door but that was it. Making friends was also hard. How am I supposed to make friends whilst simultaneously quarantining and maintaining social distance? When everything started opening up again, it was a lonely time. 

Culturally, it has been hard as well. In case you didn’t know, Utah and New York have very different cultures. How am I supposed to know what people like to do and talk about here with restrictions? How am I supposed to get used to it if hardly anyone will talk to me due to Covid-19 precautions?

In New York, people were very direct. If they had a question, they would ask it. They would start teasing you and treating you like an old friend almost instantly. Here, it seems that that is different, that people are slower to open up, but I don’t actually know. I have no idea what cultural differences are due to COVID-19 and what are due to Utah having a different culture.  The fact that the culture is hard to get used to is especially strange because I had lived in Utah until I was 7. I won’t even start on the obvious differences politically and how weird that has been. Especially since I had thought I came from a relatively conservative area. 

I have moved many times, most notable being Utah to Virginia, and then Virginia to New York.  In all honesty, this has been the hardest move. Which is pretty obvious considering all things. Especially when you add in the fact that I am a Senior this year. On the other side, it’s bad but not as bad as you might think.

Last year in New York I had no friends in my classes, so I’m used to not socializing in class a lot. I also tend to adapt to life changes quite quickly so I don’t feel that bad, to me, it’s just how life is. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel like I’m missing out though, I still feel it, but it’s not overwhelming. I am hoping that soon we can flatten the curve and open things back up so I can experience what Utah is like before I head off to college next year, so I can at least have some knowledge of what Utah is really like.