Covid-19 sent students home in early March to finish the semester off remotely. With a nationwide pandemic being declared, summer 2020 was, unfortunately, unforgettable. But despite the chaos of the past six months, several students at Pacific have found some great bright spots in their lives. 

Sophomore Peyton Seals, majoring in biology, explained how quarantine tested her mental toughness saying, “I think the biggest lesson I learned over the summer was that I am still able to be fully functioning even without all my typical routines.” 

Seals originally had several vacations and activities lined up for the summer. Once her vacation to Mexico was cancelled, it was no longer pina coladas and sunshine.  Instead she spent her summer in Longview, Wash. and Seals was forced to confront herself. 

“I definitely felt the stress of my mental health on a daily basis but I was still able to hold down a job and keep/create/maintain healthy relationships,” she said. By the end of the summer, Seals found her own silver lining: resilience. 

 “This makes me feel extremely proud of myself because a couple of years ago, I never could have dealt with this situation. In that way, I am thankful for this summer and being stuck at home.”

Others found themselves taking on a new summer job. Sophomore JJ Buehler became a new golfer as he worked at Forest Hills Golf Course. While he enjoyed the perk of free golf, he also found time to reflect on the things we normally take for granted: “You get to do things in life, you don’t have to get up for work early or you don’t have to find time to spend with your family. You get to do these things. And this summer, that really hit home for me.” 

The Pacific University fall experience is different with COVID compliant restrictions, but many students came back after their long summer. — Emily Rutkowski

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Emily Rutkowski is a sophomore from Mesa, Arizona. She enjoys playing soccer for the women's soccer team here at Pacific University. In her free time, she loves being outdoors and socializing with friends and family.

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