March 10th, 2020 was just another day on campus. I woke up at 8:15am, ate breakfast and began my walk across campus to go to class. Just like every morning for the last year I turned on the NPR podcast and listened to the morning news on my way. The whole way there all I listened to the COVID-19 update for the day as well as how it was affecting Italy, China, and the U.S. Later that evening, I went to my planning meeting for 100th National Convention, one of the highlights of my year. After two years of work, this convention was scheduled to take place in just a few short weeks. The key word being WAS. That night they informed us that the University was going to cancel the event. Who knew that a short 48 hours later I would learn that this would be my last day on campus for the year. In two days, we went from a full functioning campus to an online platform.
The transition was relatively easy from the standpoint that most students have access to their laptops, the internet, and were relatively tech savvy. Additionally, I would like to commend all the professors for being flexible and working hard to make this transition easy for us. I know it wasn’t easy for you either. Specifically for the animal science department we lost our hands-on experiences. I lost the opportunity to work with animals every week, one of my favorite parts of school. Even more so I lost spending time with my friends and classmates between classes and the late-night study sessions where we desperately tried learn how the ruminant digestive tract absorbs nutrients.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that every college student will agree that there is some benefit to rolling over at 7:50 and having coffee in your PJs while you listen to your 8:00 am Anatomy and Physiology lecture. Or the fact that you now get to spend more time with your family and catch up on some reading. Or for me personally, I have started training my brother’s dog, and used my feeds and feeding skill to create a slimming diet plan for the chunky man. I am still using my animal science degree and fueling my passion for the degree I am pursuing, just in ways that I haven’t done before.
This is a curve ball if I have ever seen one, and trust me I will never complain about going to an 8:00am lecture every again (or at least I’ll try.) I would like to congratulate all my fellow animal scientists out there. It has not been easy, and it has not been fun, but we did it. And that is something to be proud of.