EDUCATION

Column: Stay home and stay safe so we can all yell ‘Hotty Toddy!’

A Photo by Lauren Perry

Anna Tate
Oxford Stories
altate2@go.olemiss.edu

Even from the beginning in China, COVID-19 never really struck my mind as something I should personally worry about. But that changed as soon as more cases were discovered in the South.  

When the virus spread to the U.S., I believed it was going to be a passing thing. Then, it just kept spreading, forcing agencies to start shutting down concerts, closing sporting events, and eventually closing schools entirely. 

As I think about this pandemic, the main thing that comes to me is how all the political controversies have halted for the most part. And sometimes, I start to think that all things happen for a reason.

Yes, I know this might sound a little harsh at the moment. But just look at what has happened, People have come together who would have normally been on opposite sides of the room. 

With all of this happening, forcing me to stay in my Mississippi hometown, it makes me relish all that I have taken for granted these past years leading up to this – like all of the friendships I have made in just a few short months, or all of the sporting events that kept me on the edge of my seat. 

So how am I dealing with all of the chaos? A long list of nothing to some people, like laying in my bed trying to figure out what show I can watch next because I have finished three different series in a span of three weeks. 

First off, I’m attempting to keep up with the schoolwork, jumping from Zoom to Blackboard and praying I don’t miss anything. 

Since being on campus, I have slept what I originally thought was the minimum for a person to function normally, but boy was I wrong. Now since being at home, my normal hours are going to sleep around 9 p.m. and waking up around the 11 a.m. range every day. But is that normal for a college student during this time of unknown? I believe so. 

Between all of the Zoom lectures and sleep is where most of the “fun” stuff happens. Netflix, TikTok, some quality family time, meditation with my German shepherd, and occasionally picking something up in my room. 

A typical day starts with waking up and going outside to feed my dog, Princess. I talk about my problems and worries to her. She listens, and sometimes I believe she tries to tell me what I should do. Then I come back inside to work.

When I get through with the work, I take a break by watching a few episodes of any one of my shows. After about four or five episodes, I spend quality time with my younger sister. We normally throw the football or rock out singing karaoke. But sometimes she just comes into my room just to annoy me so we can both try to get a laugh during this difficult time. 

Finally, I spend some time just talking to my family. It could be just about simple things like what we are going to eat or what schoolwork I have done and what I have left to do. These are the times that I cherish during this because, while on campus, I did not have this time. 

Although the online classes do not bother me that much, I do wish I was in Oxford. Oxford has become a second home to me. I love Oxford and the University of Mississippi and if I could wish for one thing, it would be getting to come back to this beautiful place and enjoy every minute of it. 

All of the squirrels, the pollen everywhere, the sometimes annoying roommates, showers in Right Field, and walking to class seeing all the different people – these are the things I miss.

A semester was virtually taken away from everyone, all of these amazing things about being at Ole Miss in the spring. For some, it was their first that they will not get to experience, and for others, it is the last days on campus as a student that they will not get back. 

For me, it is my first experience with the gorgeous scenery. Although I have always been part of the Ole Miss family, this was part of my freshman year.

I hope this will all end soon so I can see some of my friends sooner than later, and the gates open at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium to many fans that are glad to be together cheering on the Rebels. 

So Rebel Nation and the Oxford community – stick to the process, practice social distancing, wash your hands, and stay at home, so when fall arrives, we can come together. Stay safe and Hotty Toddy! 

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