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A benign pandemic side effect – ‘writer’s block’

  • Wednesday, May 6, 2020
    Christian Ferguson

    Editor's note: The transition to all online classes prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented adjustment in the journey to realize the goal of earning a college degree.  Here's a perspective of a student in the Henson Honors Program.

    By Christian Ferguson

    Like the majority of my peers, I was not expecting to finish this semester at home taking classes online.  It was alarming that my sophomore year would be cut short. 

    The coronavirus pandemic has truly been a tough obstacle to hurdle. 

    Before Spring Break (in mid-March), a peer told me to pack up what I could because we wouldn't be coming back.  I did not want to believe COVID19 would force us to leave campus and was confident I would be back in my dorm room in Harford Hall. 

    I was partially right.  I did return to campus, but my stay wasn't as long as I wanted to have, as I packed up the rest of my belongings.  I wasn't used to making the three-hour trip to campus, then going back home soon after, like the rest of my family had. 

    Returning briefly to campus was the first time I had left my house since the quarantine was enforced.  It was difficult to believe; I had to constantly wear my mask and gloves in public, reminding myself to stay distant among others.   

    Moving out of my room before the semester was over won't rank as my favorite college moment.  I've been (there) since the Honors Flagship Program in the summer of 2018 for (new) students to experience life at UMES before the rest of the freshman class arrived.  I consider Harford a second home, and I left it too soon. 

    That day did impact me in a positive way, however.  Knowing I could not go back to campus, my mindset was to continue to strive for a better GPA than last semester.  I prefer to attend all my classes (in-person) and try to avoid online classes as much as I could for better communication and guidance. 

    I had no choice now, but I was not going to give into it.  I'm not as great with technology as my peers are.  Although, I know that as an honors student, my academic performance had to be just as good as if I were on campus. 

    My quarantine lifestyle has drastically changed my daily routine. I lost some motivation with my fitness plan, as I had done something active almost every day on campus.  In high school, I was part of the culinary arts program.  I have been cooking again, baking different types of pizzas and making homemade milkshakes that I had avoided eating in college (as) dieting preferences. 

    With the semester almost over and still being quarantined, I will be doing a lot of writing to continue building my portfolio as a self-published author.  My stories help me improve my writing skills that I hope also will make me a better (UMES) Writing Center tutor.  Since I had not done online tutoring prior to the pandemic, I have not tutored during this time away from campus.  I can't wait to be back in the Writing Center. 

    I hope to see everyone who is a part of the Hawk family this fall semester.  Stay home to bring change. 


    Christian Ferguson is a sophomore English major from the Lanham, MD whose goal is to be a theater and film director