News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

SHS graduates coping in college

Sisters High School graduates who are now well into their college careers are feeling the effects of COVID-19. Universities are closed, job interviews are conducted over zoom meetings, sporting events are canceled, and happy hours with friends are held through a screen during this time of social isolation.

A few Sisters High School graduates spoke with The Nugget about how they are coping with their school year being altered and what they are doing to keep busy and maintain a sense of normalcy.

Nina Horner, SHS grad in 2015, is going through a transitional period in her schooling at the University of Oregon. She recently changed her major to general science and is having to navigate changing classes and requirements during a time of transition to online learning.

“I don’t love the online classes to be honest,” she said. “I think it’s better to be in person, and for me, it’s harder to switch from work to school to home mode when it’s all the same these days.”

She said she was also able to process some things with the extra time for rest and reflection.

“I am the epitome of a busy-bee and I am sort of forced to rest a bit more,” she said.

To keep busy, Horner is taking her online classes, spending time with her family, reading, training and trying to keep a sense of normalcy in her life.

“I am excited to see what life is going to look like after all this, it is going to be different for sure,” said Horner.

This time allows college students to slow down and get away from busy packed schedules and responsibilities and working on their own schedule a bit more. Seth Larson is trying to take in as much of this down time and free time as possible.

“Our generation is always looking towards the next thing and we will never have this time again with our families and free time, so I am really trying to be present and, in the moment,” he said.

Larson graduated this year from Corban University in secondary physical education, getting his bachelor of science in teaching. Right before lockdown began, Larson was just getting into student teaching, working as a PE teacher after finishing all his required classes.

“I miss the kids and other coaches I was working with now, and it was rough it being so abrupt,” he said.

To keep busy, Larson has been spending time with his family, applying for jobs and spending time outdoors.

“I am doing well considering these times, but it is nice to have this unexpected time with my family before starting in on my career,” he said.

A junior at the University of Oregon, Hogan Hernandez, is living in Eugene with her roommates, continuing to work and take classes online.

“I am only a junior so I feel like I still have time left and I actually am enjoying the online classes,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez enjoys having some extra free time and the ability to work on school on her own schedule, not constantly inundated with school all day, every day. Hernandez works for a housing company, Chase Village, and has kept busy there in addition to doing school.

“I’ve learned a lot about what businesses are essential, including housing, and we are able to help people find a place to live during trying times,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez is also taking extra time to focus on herself and her roommates, picking up yoga and painting.

“I have been focusing a lot on my own boundaries as well, realizing how I am affecting others by my own actions during this time,” she said.

Hernandez usually works as a river guide for Ouzel Outfitters based in Bend, but their season did not start up at the normal time due to COVID-19. Hernandez misses the river.

“I hope that our season starts later in the summer and I am curious to see how it all plays out,” she said.

This is part one of a two-part series.


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