Local college student returns home due to virus

The outbreak of coronavirus has been a whirlwind for people all over the globe. From getting sick to losing jobs, to having to stay inside and coping with an entirely new way of life, these have been difficult months. For local young adults, living in what is supposed to the prime years of their lives has also gotten much more complicated. School, friends, family and making plans for the future are all important things that are centered in the life of someone in their late teens or early twenties, but the virus has taken some of those things away.

For Hillsboro graduate attending MidAmerica Nazarene University, Sarah Jost, finding her new normal is how she has spent the last few months.

“The biggest struggle for me has been not to isolate myself and overthink. I’m an introvert and have a tendency to isolate myself. Well, with coronavirus, isolation was encouraged!” said Jost. “And while of course, I abided by these rules, I needed to remind myself to get outside, be active and participate in the things that bring me joy.”

One of the most substantial ways the virus has altered Jost’s life is her college moving classes online, resulting in moving back home and not being on campus to finish the remainder of her sophomore year. College on its own is an entity to tackle, let alone navigating it at home in the middle of a pandemic.

“I am a graphic design student so I’m used to working on a computer, so that transition was pretty smooth. The challenging part is that I’m a visual learner and when learning about new techniques or programs, our professor usually walks through each step on the big screen, so teaching myself how to use programs without that was a bit challenging,” said Jost.

School is not the only obstacle that Jost has encountered; coronavirus has led to people not being able to see many loved ones to keep one another safe, and she has been in the situation of not having the opportunity to see her grandparents, who she typically stops by to visit with regularly. Being separated from family members and missing out on memories and quality time is difficult, but Jost has taken this experience to heart and found something valuable from it.

“I think I really took for granted the opportunity I have of having [my grandparents] so close. They live about a mile away from my house and to not be able to pop by has really bummed me out,” said Jost.

Now that summer has come around and Jost is living at home, finding a job for the season was a goal for her, but with restrictions on what can and cannot be open, the options have become limited and plans have had to be swapped around. Living in small-town America has been a blessing on Jost none the less, with familiar faces to turn to for support and local business there to hire young adults.

“This year, of all the years, I decided to switch it up and get a new job, so I got certified to be a lifeguard and was really looking forward to working at the pool,” said Jost. “Unfortunately, the pool will not be opening so I had to do a lot of scrambling to pick something else up! Luckily, I got a job at Dale’s Supermarket and have really been enjoying it.”

Throughout all the struggles and hardships, Jost has had the chance to take a step back, contemplate and enjoy the little things, and has found joy in having more time to give to her passions.

“College is very fast-paced and the future is always on the brain. Coronavirus has reminded me that the Lord has a purpose right where I am and that there is no rush!” said Jost.

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