Blogs from a quarantined college student: Weeks six & seven

Written by Maddy Harrison

WEEK SIX

Monday, April 20th, 2020
Internship
I haven’t talked about my CACU internship much in these blogs, but it’s going really well! We’re into week three and we’ve gotten to talk with some of the KC business owners. We’re learning a lot about working from home during this time and I think that it’s giving us some great skills for our future careers. 
My boss got back to me about the possible video project! We’re going to have a Zoom conference later this week with three other girls. I’m really interested in what the project will hold, but either way, getting my hands back into some digital media projects is really great.
Next week we start the pitch competition and will be separated into groups. It’ll be so nice to work with some people my age and in my community. The goal of the pitch competition is to come up with a way that we can assist our community during this COVID-19 crisis. I think that this is an awesome opportunity to actually make a difference somewhere.
I’ll definitely keep you guys posted on how everything continues on and where the pitch contest takes me!
-Maddy
 
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020
Video stuff!
I am so excited to get working on this video project with CACU. We had a meeting with everyone selected to help, which was only about eleven people out of thirty applicants. One cool thing about the selected members? It’s all girls! Woohoo, girl power!
Before I talk about the video, I just want to express how cool it is to work with all girls on this. For mostly everything I’ve done in digital media, I’ve seen the number of guys outweigh the girls. It’s really great to work with these really accomplished and confident young women on a project like this.
Anyways, there were two different projects that we were assigned to. I was put on the Time Capsule team and I’m really digging the concept. When we all applied for the internship, we had to submit a video talking about how COVID-19 has affected us and how we’re adapting to life in quarantine. I talked a lot about missing my job at the Muleskinner, my friends, and college, but I didn’t hate quarantine too much.
My video is one out of 356 others (a dauntingly high number). For this time capsule, my team will watch through the videos, pick out some great clips and quotes, and compile them all together. We’re going to try to feature as many applicants as we can. It’s going to be a great way to showcase how this generation of people has been affected by the pandemic.
We’re going to make a teaser and a full-length video. I’ve already got some really cool ideas of how we can put this together and even have some thoughts on fun and sappy music to put along with it. Before we all get to work, we’re going to take the weekend to watch some of the videos and jot down our ideas. Then we’ll meet on Monday to make a game plan of what we want to do.
I’m super thrilled to be a part of such a cool project! I’ll keep you guys updated as I continue through this!
-Maddy
 
Thursday, April 23rd, 2020
Music
I’ve mentioned before that I love music. I adore listening to it, singing, playing, etc. Life without music for me is just too boring. Music is my stress relief.
I would say overall I have a pretty diverse taste, as I mostly adopt what those close to me listen to. I grew up mostly on country and alternative music, but through the years I’ve developed love for pop punk, rat pack, lofi, indie, classical, etc. I have songs in Italian, German, French, Spanish, Dutch, you name it. The best part about having a diverse music taste is that I get to show my friends and family tons of different music that I adore and they can do the same for me!
One of the good friends I made at college this year and I agreed to make each other playlists of crazy cool songs we want the other to love just as much as we do. Within thirty minutes, I already had over one hundred songs on his. I can’t help it, honestly. I get so excited when I get to share music I love with other people, especially when I know they’ll love it, too.
I’m really excited to see what his playlist looks like. We have pretty different music tastes, so I think it’ll be a lot of fun to add some different stuff to my library!
-Maddy
 
Friday, April 24th 2020
Counting the days
It dawned on me today that the second semester is almost over. I have my first final on Monday. Monday. Where did the time go?
For the most part, I feel like every day is the same. Homework, household chores, eat, sleep, repeat. Things haven’t felt like that as much lately, with this internship picking up speed and my sister starting her own internship, too.
It’s definitely weird to have a school year come to an end like this. I had a lot of plans and goals for my second semester, such as trying to get more involved and hang out with my friends more. Around mid-February, my long-time friend and I went to a Spotlight bingo event just for fun. Somewhere along the line, we decided to call another friend of ours to help us win (we lost miserably) and ended up at Wendy’s at 10:30. We are totally, 100% living recklessly in college (please read with heavy sarcasm).
Still, it was so much fun and we even had plans to go to the next bingo together. It’s stuff like that I miss lots. All in all, quarantine isn’t bad at all. Yeah, I get a little stir-crazy, but sometimes a short drive down the road is all I need to feel refreshed.
I have hopes that next semester will bring some great experiences for me (fingers crossed this whole second wave of COVID-19 won’t happen, please). But for now, I’m thinking about arranging a virtual game night with some of my friends, just to talk and hang out. Just because I kinda miss those geeks.
-Maddy 
 
Saturday, April 25th, 2020
My findings thus far
In quarantine and my infinite amount of free time, I’ve spent a lot of time on social media. As a consequence, I’ve found out that people get bored pretty fast.
The most common thing I’ve seen on the internet is people cutting bangs, dyeing their hair, shaving their heads, dyeing their dad’s hair, etc. My best friend asked if she should cut bangs because she saw so many girls on the internet doing it. I quickly convinced her otherwise. Speaking from the perspective of someone who has had bangs (little nine-year-old me was a bit early on the trend), bangs are a pain in the butt. So, yeah, don’t do it. Please.
The next thing I’ve seen a lot is the amount of people making various versions of Rube Goldberg machines with ping pong balls. From bouncing balls across pots and pans to having them travel throughout the entire house with homemade rigs, it’s pretty crazy how creative people will get with these things.
But, crazily enough, someone has found a way to top all of these social distancing activities. I saw this one on TikTok. A man ordered thousands of pictures of famous YouTuber David Dobrik. Weird enough already, right? Hold onto your helmets, kiddos. He covered his entire house (and yes, that means walls, floors, furniture, ceilings, exterior, sidewalk) in these photos. My first thought was “holy crap, this guy needs a new hobby.” I mean, what? Who does that? I was blown away.
So, I have come to the conclusion that people get REALLY bored when social distancing. I’ll keep you posted on what else I find online.
-Maddy
 
Sunday, April 26th, 2020
Books
I’m going through post-book depression today. I finally finished one of my favorite book series of all time, “The Illuminae Files” (yes, I know, I’ve brought these up a lot. I’m not sorry). I don’t care if you like romance, action, sci-fi, fantasy, whatever. Read these books. They will rip your heart out and make you cry a lot, but I promise it’s worth it.
I’ve got a few books lined up to read next, but I’m dragging my heels into jumping into a new book. You know when you get so caught up in a series, invested in all the characters to the point that you feel like you’re right there with them? When your heart kinda picks up pace as you worry about them, or sinks when something awful happens? That was this kind of book for me.
I think I’ll spend the rest of the day mourning the end of my book. As a new week begins, I will move on to a new book. I think that’s fair.
-Maddy
P.S. I’m not kidding. Read them. Please.

WEEK SEVEN

Monday, April 27th, 2020
Papers and projects and quizzes, oh my!
If I get one more paper assignment, I think I might cry (no joke). Everything is slowly coming to a close, yes, but three papers, all over four pages long? I mean, really? I think my brain is starting to melt because of how much I’m writing all the time.
Fortunately, I took one of my last quizzes for Media Literacy today. After taking it, I realized it was all extra credit, so yay! Ten extra points headed my way! I also got to have a little bit of fun and put together some flyers as an assignment, so that was less stressful, too.
As much as I feel like the days drag on sometimes, they fly right past as well. It’s a little difficult to keep track of them sometimes, especially when writing these blogs. Sometimes I have to stop myself and really think, “did that happen today, or was it yesterday?”
I find it often becomes like this when I’m on extended breaks like summer and Christmas. At least right now, there’s a little bit of a rhythm to my day with the schoolwork and internship (which is really fun, by the way).
I think a lot about what summer will look like, when all of this will go back to “normal.” Leaves me with a lot of questions, but I know things have to go back to the way they were sooner or later.
-Maddy
 
Tuesday, April 28th, 2020
Exercise
One of the things I loved about college was the 24/7 access to the gym. My sister and I used to go at least once a week, so I definitely miss the workouts. They were a good source of stress relief for me.
I’m not saying I’ve stopped exercising completely. I’ve done some easy at-home workouts since our home gym doesn’t consist of a lot of machines, but I really wanted to do something more. Tired of being a lazy old bum, you know?
My sisters and I went on a walk down our road today. Living in a rural area means that there isn’t really a neighborhood to walk in, so our walk consists of our gravel road and the road that leads to the highway we live off of. Still, it’s great exercise. The roads have lots of hills that definitely challenge me. I think it’s because I’m so out of shape.
I highly recommend exercising to anyone bored in quarantine. You might feel tired afterwards, but you’ll also feel better about yourself, too! Whenever I exercise, a little voice in my head is cheering me on, saying, “Yay! Go you, taking care of yourself and exercising!”
It’s a good feeling. 🙂
-Maddy
 
Thursday, April 30th, 2020
Good weather, good vibes
This week has been a little more busy. Admittedly, my schoolwork hasn’t been too terribly stressful (aside from the papers, sigh), but my internship is gaining more speed. There have been various meetings for it all week. We received our pitch competition groups this week and were given our first assignment: ice breakers!
It’s really easy. All we have to do is meet once and make a list of all the things we have in common. The group with the longest list wins $10 gift cards for each member. It’s not a lot, but $10 is still $10. Why not try?
My group met today. Most of them are pretty quiet, so one girl and I mostly drove the conversation. By the end of the meeting, we had 53 items. I think we were all a little shocked to have that much in common with each other. We talked about food, books, movies, social media, and funny little tidbits that we might have in common.
As the weather gets better, I can feel things in my life improving. I’m spending more time with my family, the school year is almost over, I’m part of this amazing internship, and I’m applying for another one today. This one is over the summer, with the Lee’s Summit Tribune. I’m really into the idea of working with this smaller newspaper. 
I hope that you are getting some good vibes from this great weather.
-Maddy
 
Friday, May 1st, 2020
Netflix- so many options, I literally can’t decide
Netflix and I have become very good friends since quarantine started. Before you ask, no, I have not watched “Tiger King” and I do not intend to. I’ve been trying to watch all of “Gossip Girl” in these past few weeks, but there is so much more I’m looking forward to watching.
My sister has a lot of great Netflix suggestions for me, which only makes it harder for me. After “Gossip Girl,” I’m planning to watch “Reign,” “Kim’s Convenience,” “Elite,” “Spinning Out,” and a handful of other shows.
It doesn’t stop there. Yes, the list gets longer. I recently just re-discovered my anime playlist on Spotify. It’s full of all my favorite theme songs from when I was really into anime, so listening to it was a total throwback. Consequently, I have a huge desire to re-watch all the anime I loved so much a few years ago. 
So, in quarantine, my watch list grows infinitely longer. Good thing I have a ton of time on my hands, right?
-Maddy
 
Saturday, May 2nd, 2020
Protests… really?
The amount of people that are actually protesting Stay at Home orders astounds me. I’m not a huge news watcher, but I’ve seen the posts of protesters walking the streets. Thousands of people are participating in these rallies. I mean, what are they thinking? Social distancing is encouraged for a reason.
The fact of the matter is, these people are making everyone’s lives harder. Most importantly, healthcare workers. They’ve been working day in and day out to flatten the curve and treat patients. They are at constant risk of bringing COVID-19 home to their families. Essential workers, such as your grocery store employees, are trying to do their part to help their communities by keeping shelves stocked. They are at risk, too.
So many people are doing their part, social distancing as best as they are able. Most people are working from home, homeschooling their kids, and trying to stay healthy and safe. So many people have been forced to endure lay-offs, pay-cuts, and other financial issues because their workplace has shut down. So many of us are just trying to help the world get back to normal the best way they can.
Despite all these efforts from the community, there are still people—such as these protesters—who are making life more difficult for all of us. It’s dumbfounding.
Even though my life isn’t awful in quarantine, I want this to be over. I want to see my grandma and family without fear of someone getting sick. I want to hang out with my friends again. I want to spend time at the library or park.
I want life to go back to normal, whatever “normal” turns out to be.
Do your part. Stay home. Don’t protest. Surprisingly, the people telling you to stay home know what they’re talking about.
-Maddy
 
Sunday, May 3rd, 2020
From spring to summer
It’s exciting to see the weather gear up for summer. The sun is shining and my family is taking advantage of the beautiful weather.
We’ve accomplished a lot during quarantine since there’s more time on the weekends. So far we’ve demolished two really old playhouses, laid down new mulch, power washed the front pavement, laid down some concrete, and opened the pool! It’s a really great feeling to spruce up the house for summertime and we still have more we want to do!
We’ve been planting a garden for a few years now and we’re in the process of starting this year’s plants. A little while ago, my mom and little sister started some pepper seedlings, which have been growing nicely. It’s really easy and cheap to do from home! All you need are some seeds from your produce, egg cartons, soil, water, and sunshine! Seeds typically do pretty well in the egg cartons and can easily move to bigger containers when ready. If you’re wanting to grow your own fruits and vegetables, you should try starting the seedlings yourself!
In other news, finals start this week. For all you college students preparing for exams, I wish you luck! I’m fortunate enough to have a not-so difficult finals week, but my internship has some exciting stuff happening this week!
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and have a fantastic Monday tomorrow!
-Maddy