“Hey, I’m Emma. I think I’m technically a Sophomore in CLEG. I’m studying from my house in Alabama this semester, and I am really excited for classes to be back.”
I got to say this in four different classes this week. I got to say this in four different classes this week because I am officially off of Medical Leave. Surprise!
Throughout the Coronavirus confusion with the universities, my university, American, was one of the last to decide what their plan for the fall semester would be. It was not until the first week of August that President Burwell made the final announcement that AU would be holding an entirely virtual semester with no one allowed on campus. Because the decision came so late, I had to do a lot of last minute scrambling to get myself ready to be a full time student again. Phone calls had to be made. Emails had to be sent. Doctors had to be convinced. Schedules had to be figured out. It was all a whirlwind. And even then, I wasn’t sure that it was actually a good idea. I’m still not.
As everyone else was posting their first day of class photos, I was still working with the Dean of Students Office to get the hold taken off of my student account and finalizing my schedule. I had to promise my team of physicians that I’d be taking classes from the safety of my home. I had to make sure that my previous accommodations still meet my needs. I had to go through the process of telling an entirely new set of strangers that I may or may not have a seizure on a screen in front of everyone–no worries.
My cortisol levels are off the charts low. My Crohn’s is in chaos.
But I’m going to learn about how religions spread around the world from the lens of Buddhism. I’m going to be exposed to policy and the things that create it. I’m going to begin seeing the interworking of America’s legal system. I might even start to understand economics?
“We are the mighty AU Eagles
If there’s a fight we’ll see it through”
AU isn’t really the type of university where you walk around campus and hear the fight song. And in the time of COVID, there’s even less school spirit. But these words have been standing out to me ever since I decided I would try to go back to school. I love being a student, and if to return to classes, I have to fight my body a little bit harder than I was last week, I’ll do it–diagnosis be damned.