As many of you know, the current social and economic climates in America- and around the world- are changing very, very quick.

As a college student who lives two hours from home, this is a huge change for me. After the news last week about classes moving online for the rest of the semester, I’ve had a hard time wrapping my head around everything. I’ve had a hard time with the sudden transition. I’ve had a hard time realizing why this is all happening and understanding everything. I’m overwhelmed.

Myself and my peers have been told we need to move out of our dorm by the end of next week. Although I am in full support of this decision, and am glad to be able to return home during crazy times like this, I’m still overwhelmed with it all. It still all doesn’t seem real to me.

Two weeks ago, I was in classes, prepping for my upcoming midterms, hanging with the best friends I’ve ever had, and going about a normal life of a college student.

I remember sitting in my dorm, just even a week ago, talking with my roommates about this virus and what it was doing elsewhere. I remember thinking “it’ll never happen here.” I remember not worrying about myself, or those around me, thinking that this would never come here and never affect us.

I was wrong.

I remember right before spring break there was a case in the US. I then remember, very vividly, the night the rest of my semester would be changed permanently. I was driving Gena home, and we talked about it the entire way. We talked about it coming to the US and our plan for it. We got to her house. Then, the news came: OSU would hold all classes online until March 30th, with the possibility of an extension. This didn’t seem real.

I sat there thinking about this all. It is real. It is affecting my life now, and the lives of those around me. I couldn’t process this sudden change, and it didn’t make any sense to me.

A few days ago, days after OSU initially moved classes online until March 30th, the university announced that would continue into the rest of the semester. My mind sank.

I was confused.

I still am. It doesn’t seem real to me that I won’t be returning to classes, or to my dorm, or be able to spend the same time with all of my roommates, friends, and girlfriend.

I’m returning right now to my dorm to collect my things and move out. This will likely be the last time I’m outside for anything non-essential until this clears up.

This entire thing is real, and effecting myself, those around me, and those in my community. It is so very real to me, and I understand it’s effects, yet I still feel like I’m in a dream, or a nightmare, rather.

I just can’t seem to process this change. It doesn’t seem real, and yet people are dying because of this. It is real. So why am I struggling to process everything?

I will continue to write about my experience as a college student over the coming weeks, months, and maybe years. Please stay safe, reach out to you your loved ones if they need help, and most importantly, please stay home. Stay inside. Tell those you know to do the same. It is the best way we can help right now to stop the spread. This. Is. Real.