Adjusting to life at home and living with uncertainty

Reilly Moncrief stands in a crosswalk holding her camera to her face

If I get a call from my father, it usually means one of two things: I’m in trouble or something terribly wrong has happened. So when I woke up to a call from Dad on March 20, I knew something serious was happening. 

My parents wanted me to come home, with fears that state borders may shut down and I wouldn’t be able to make it back to Charlotte, N.C.

Two hours later, I hit the road with all my camera, audio and computer equipment as well as whatever clean clothes, canned goods, frozen chicken, toilet paper and Lysol wipes I had. I did not know when I would return to my apartment or my normal college life. 

When I first heard about school moving online for just a few weeks, I was ecstatic. I’m kind of a homebody and admittedly I’ve never had a perfect attendance record in school. But with news of COVID-19 spreading through Georgia, I grew worried as to what this meant for the rest of my sophomore year. 

We will not return to campus for classes until the fall, and I have to unexpectedly move out of my apartment by April 9. 

Luckily, my online coursework is flexible, and I am able to complete it within one or two days instead of a few hours. 

At home, I’m babysitting for the family I worked for last summer. Their main nanny is in her 60s and has a compromised immune system, so the mom thought I was a safer option for child care. 

In addition to babysitting, my days now consist of FaceTime calls with my boyfriend who leaves for the Navy soon, sharing memes with my friends on Instagram, and rewatching shows I’ve already watched because I need to find comfort somewhere. 

My mom is in nursing school, and while I am home, I have taken charge of cooking dinner every night as well as helping out with other house chores. 

I still have a lot of questions about my college life at Mercer. Will we be refunded part of our tuition? How will this affect the internship I was just offered? Will I be able to study abroad next year? I just don’t know. 

Despite all odds, I am thankful to have a home, family and job to come back to in Charlotte, as I know for some of my peers these things are not as easily attainable.


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