Did anyone have any of 2020 on their 2020 bingo card? A pandemic? Killer hornets? Nightly fireworks to no end? No? Me neither. But this is where we are — a pandemic, presidential election year, societal unrest — all while moving to Appalachian and starting classes. We are living in a time that, literally, is unparalleled. How do we navigate this, you may ask? Together. We are all in this together (cue my High School Musical fans).
App State emphasizes the importance of community and creating a culture of care on our campus. For some, they get to experience this: these years are the best years of their lives. For others, we are still waiting. So far, we have witnessed students silenced, faculty and staff outraged, and an administration with perceived deaf ears and an apathetic personality. We enter our first week of classes with an increasing uncertainty of our duration on this campus, of how much “college” we can pack into our time here before we are called home and forced to re-enroll in Zoom University, starting or finishing our years on this campus this way. All of this on top of our regular worries of college: building relationships, passing classes, graduating, adulting. Now, more than ever, it is time to delineate that App State is a community with a culture of care. We must show that we stand with those who are feeling anything less than what was promised, that we may not agree with having to wear a mask, limit social interactions, and practice social distancing, but for the safety of others and ourselves, we will abide by these principles (social contract vibes anyone?). Work with each other, and work with me. In strength lies numbers, and that is what is needed: a community of people who care, working together.
As your Director of Wellness of our Student Government Association, I can only emphasize the importance of navigating this together and urge you to think of others when going about your day. All of our actions impact everyone around us. We must strive to check in with ourselves, check in with others, and try to be as well as possible. This is where we are – the unknown. And only together can we pull through.
For more information on campus resources and learn more about how to navigate this time at App State, please visit www.appstate.edu/coronavirus
Victoria Moreno is the Director of Wellness for the Student Government Association
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