Campus Life

The Bright Side

Students express gratitude in time of crisis

by Evan Elliot, USF News

Even in these days of illness and isolation, there are silver linings. These students find them.

"I see families going on bike rides, books being read, new foods being cooked, dresses being made, and teaching happening from across the world. As my online classes have begun, I've already witnessed a student perform a magic trick to a class of 30 students via Zoom and have met two of my teachers' dogs." —Raphael Rathle '21, in Jacksonville, Florida

"I’m a big sports guy. To fill the void, I've been watching replays of old Laker games and have even turned to obscure sports such as marble racing. My friends figured out that we can all watch together on Zoom, and that is a game-changer, but it's still not the same. On the bright side, I've taken this sports hiatus as a chance to check out what the rest of my family likes to do with their spare time. Who knew that High School Musical: The Musical: The Series was actually a good show? My sister would argue that everyone knows this." —Nicolas Oshiro '20, in La Mirada, California

"As a student who relies on my work-study job to pay for school, I am extremely grateful that I can continue to work from home. I thank my professors who have been responsive and have taken action to make sure we can adjust to online school. It’s obvious that no one intended for spring 2020 to end this way, but I do think our USF community has been trying its best." —Mariela Rodriguez-Morales '22, in Salinas, California

"I’ve been playing board games with my two nephews and watching movies with my friends via the Google Chrome extension called Netflix Party. We might not see it now, but the time we’re spending with our families and/or friends is something we should all remember to value." —Amie Lu '20, in San Jose

"When coronavirus hit the U.S., I was studying in Copenhagen, Denmark. Sharon Li in the Center for Global Education helped me find some financial assistance with my flight home. I very much appreciate the work done to help support students like me, who mainly live paycheck to paycheck. I know some of my study-abroad classmates didn't get as much support from their schools." Andrew Justin Villanueva '21, in San Francisco

"I'm glad to have a roof over my head, food in the fridge, and access to WiFi to study. I can wear my pajamas and eat whenever I want. I don’t have to stay on campus late at night and commute home that late. I am constantly on TikTok in hopes to inspire people and put a smile on their faces. I am also practicing my makeup skills and doing many different looks. Overall, this time off has allowed me to think about how grateful I am for the life I live. I have more time to think about what I want to do in the future by making small and big goals for myself. In my planner, I write down what I want to accomplish for the day in order to keep myself on track and ensure that I am taking advantage of this free time." —Gigi Supapo '20, in San Francisco

"My brother and I are helping out our aunts and uncles who need help either getting to the store or someone to go for them. If there’s anything that I have learned so far, it’s that as hard as times can be, this is a crucial moment when we can all step up to help make situations better for our community." —Briana Torres '21, in San Diego