College Students Look Forward to Post-Pandemic Adventures

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Published May 1, 2021
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The Montclarion
Olivia Valatkavage does homework and studies from home. Photo courtesy of Olivia Valatkavage

Life during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been stressful for Alyssa Osenbruck, a Montclair State University senior majoring in psychology and minoring in child advocacy and policy. She said she feels like she cannot leave her house without worrying about catching the virus and taking precautions.

Osenbruck is looking forward to all kinds of adventures with her loved ones after the pandemic is over, from hearing the crowd cheer at sporting events to sipping drinks at trendy bars, to just spending quality time with her friends and family.

“[I] can’t wait to go out again with my friends and hopefully travel with my friends and family and see all my cousins again [and] have family gatherings,” Osenbruck said.

Before the pandemic, Osenbruck enjoyed singing and dancing the night away to her favorite songs at concerts and she hopes to attend more when these kinds of events are safe again.

“I would love to go to another concert… maybe Billie Eilish or Harry Styles I would like to see,” Osenbruck said.

Before the pandemic, Alyssa Osenbruck enjoyed going out with friends. Photo courtesy of Alyssa Osenbruck

Before the pandemic, Alyssa Osenbruck enjoyed going out with friends.
Photo courtesy of Alyssa Osenbruck

Many students have been feeling frustrated and tired of experiencing college during a pandemic. However, hope is on the horizon as more people are getting vaccinated daily. College students are excited for life to return to normal and are eager to share what they are looking forward to once the pandemic is over.

Tatiana Ricks, a senior fashion studies major, dreams of traveling to Paris, France in a post-pandemic world.

Ricks explained she was extremely disappointed when the pandemic hit, because she was studying abroad in Milan, Italy and was forced to return home and cancel her international plans as a result.

While Ricks was upset that she missed out on valuable time during her journey in Milan, she will not let the pandemic ruin her dreams of traveling, as it has always been her dream to visit Paris.

“I was supposed to spend my 22nd birthday eating lunch by the Eiffel Tower and it got canceled,” Ricks said. “That’s like my dream travel destination. I want to go to Paris and it’s going to happen. I don’t care how long it takes, it’s going to happen.”

Tatiana Ricks shares her passion for travel during a Zoom interview. Zoe Nolz | The Montclarion

Tatiana Ricks shares her passion for travel during a Zoom interview.
Zoe Nolz | The Montclarion

Ricks had a contagious smile on her face and her voice was filled with excitement as she continued to discuss her passion for travel. She explained how she has been ordering snack crates from around the world as a way to fulfill her desire to see the world.

“I’ve been ordering snack crates and that’s been like my little traveling experience,” Ricks said. “They send you snacks from different countries, so I have a folder filled with all my snack crate little greetings. I have some from Brazil, South Africa, Hawaii and Sweden.”

Like Ricks, Olivia Valatkavage, a senior majoring in international business and minoring in economics at Ramapo College of New Jersey, also hopes to travel after the pandemic is over.

“I want to be able to travel somewhere, because I tried to study abroad two different times it got canceled both times,” Valatkavage said.

Olivia Valatkavage smiles during a Zoom interview as she shares her dreams of traveling. Zoe Nolz | The Montclarion

Olivia Valatkavage smiles during a Zoom interview as she shares her dreams of traveling.
Zoe Nolz | The Montclarion

A wistful look shined in Valatkavage’s blue eyes behind her glasses as she shared that it has been her childhood dream to visit Barcelona, Spain.

“I’ve just wanted to go for a very long time, ever since ‘The Cheetah Girls 2’ came out,” Valatkavage said. “I hear it’s a really beautiful city and I really want to see it.”

While this past year has not been easy, there is more hope every day as more people are getting vaccinated. Students are feeling hopeful, and they have made it clear they will not let this pandemic stop them from eventually achieving their dreams, no matter how long they have to wait.

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