By Jeremy Reed

For most college students, the spring semester of 2020 was just like any other one: cramming in homework, staying up late studying and a boat load of coffee intake to stay awake. That is until a pandemic hit.

Around the second week of March, the United States was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing colleges and business to close or move to an alternate form of delivery. For UW-Superior, that meant all face-to-face courses would be moved to distant learning. For me, that was a huge adjustment. I was forced out of my dorm room and moved back in with my parents to continue school. Soon after, I returned to work and then even took on a second job.

I did not have any issues with schooling until I went back to work. I got bored of sitting at home doing nothing once my homework was completed — I wanted to do more.

Deciding to go back to work earlier than normal gave me an idea. I thought I could get a jump start on making extra money to pay for school and rent next fall.

That decision has had its ups and downs. Do I make a lot of money and get the hours I need? Yes. But at the same time, I became lazy with remembering to do assignments and projects for school.

I also have had a hard time managing a good sleep schedule. On average, before I went back to work, I got around 10-12 hours of sleep every night. Now that I have two jobs on top of schoolwork, I average about 4-5 hours of sleep every night.

But, I make it work. I have found the right balance to do everything I need to do. I bring homework with me to work, so on my lunch breaks I can get a little chunk of homework done while I rest from working.

COVID-19 has impacted millions of people around the world. People have lost their jobs. Some cannot go anywhere except to get essential items or visit family. I am just fortunate that I get to go to work every day. I get the privilege to do homework and go to school. To better myself and build a better future. COVID-19 has not impacted me as much as other people, but when times are tough, sometimes you just need to smile through it all and look towards the future. Because, after all, the future is only brighter than the present.