Annabelle and Jordan

left-right: Annabelle Stefanoff, Jordan Carey (with Salvador the ball python)

Annabelle and Jordan

Bellingham, WA

My housemates and I are all students at Western Washington University. Two of the four of us have had to go back home to be with family, with one of them experiencing such an impact on their income that they had to exit the lease completely. The two of us that remain have been living completely from home and taking online classes. My housemate Jordan's job has moved virtual (a tutor in the library) and the status of my summer job is completely up in the air. Those of us who chose to stay miss our families dearly.

I worry about the status/changes to my current job, as well as the probability of getting another job for next year. Also deciding whether to continue studying in an online format with the expensive cost.

The unpredictability has begun to change the way I look at/plan for everything. That, and things I would never hesitate to do before (i.e. exercise classes in a studio, go to class with a sniffle, attend a packed party) I will forever view differently. It’s incredible how, in such a short time, we can be re-wired to adapt to our circumstances, no matter how drastically they’ve changed.

This has been an eye-opening experience in terms of gratitude and recognizing my privilege. It’s also opened up time to read many new books. And I’ve been going on so many walks lately - I know more about Bellingham than I would have otherwise!

-- Annabelle Stefanoff

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