Students Share Their Hopes for the Future Amidst a Pandemic

Emily Cox Co-Editor-in-Chief

Easter is a time for hope and togetherness. It is the most important holy day for Christians and celebrates Christ’s resurrection. While many are celebrating Easter today, many others are celebrating Passover. The Jewish festival of Passover commemorates the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt and freedom from slavery. While Easter and Passover celebrate different miracles, they share similar themes of liberation and triumph.

Over the past four weeks, University students have been displaced from housing, have had campus life disrupted and have had life as they know it changed by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Along with taking online classes, students must also now worry about the health and safety of loved ones and when returning to school may become a reality.  

While these day-to-day worries bear an emotional weight on students and families, members of the University community have taken the time to reflect on their hopes for the future.

In the true spirit of caritas, many students expressed hope for a newfound sense of kindness and strength, as a global community, when this is over.

“I am really hopeful that we come out from this better and stronger,” senior Samantha Palazzolo said. “I hope as a society we are kinder. I hope as individuals we are smarter and more educated about how politics affects our everyday lives, and personally, I want to live every single day and activity to the fullest.”

Senior Kayla Adornetto echoed the same sentiment. She is most hopeful “that everyone will come out of quarantine healthy and with a greater appreciation for life, friends and family.”

“I am most hopeful for America’s future after COVID-19 dies down,” senior Courtney Schultz said. “Unfortunately, this has shown where our country is truly vulnerable… We’re seeing what can and can’t be done from home… COVID-19 is exposing all of the faulty systems we have in place and shining bright lights on who makes those calls and why. We’re seeing all of these systems being altered in the blink of an eye, after being told that things are just the way they are. COVID-19 has exposed America and all of its dirty laundry. This is the reckoning that nobody knew was coming, but I have hope that it will incite radical change for America’s benefit.”

Junior Ryan Susanin said he is most hopeful for the continued health of his friends, family and loved ones. Many students also mentioned their gratitude for their family staying safe and healthy during this time, and many emphasized their hope for a vaccine for COVID-19 available to all in the coming months. 

When asked what he is most hopeful for, freshman Matt Matolka mentioned, “That this will slow down by summer and allow things to open up.” He was not the only one hoping for a regular summer, as many others expressed their hope for a fun summer with family and a job especially. 

“I hope we can all be together again in the summertime and this ends sooner than everyone thought, with the least number of casualties,” senior Alana Janniello added. 

Many students articulated that while online classes have been the best way for the University to ensure students receive an education while practicing proper social distancing, it would be sad if this current method of learning continued next semester.

Sophomores, like Emma Lynch and Jessica Ell, who were planning on studying abroad in the fall semester, are still waiting for word from the Office of Education Abroad on whether or not fall programs, especially those in Europe, will be able to happen. While they are hopeful for the opportunity to be able to study abroad, they understand that health and safety are the utmost concerns of the University at the moment. 

Most seniors expressed their hope for a time to celebrate their class’ accomplishments, in person, sometime in the future. “I hope there will still be a Senior Week with all of my friends,” senior Isabella Nardone mentioned.

As one would expect, the most popular response for what one is hopeful for is returning to campus in August. Freshmen, sophomores and juniors all expressed the longing to head back to the Main Line at the end of summer. 

“I pray every single day that we will get to return to campus this fall,” junior Samantha Washburn said.