By Jackson Cascio, Assistant Sports Editor
Like most people at CSUDH, the past two weeks have been incredibly stressful for me. But rather than living in a state of steady, general anxiety over the spread of the coronavirus, my trajectory has been more of a roller coaster.
I’m graduating in two months. It’s a great accomplishment I worked hard for. I just wish earlier this month I didn’t have to say goodbye to my first love: competitive basketball.
That ended March 3, when your CSUDH men’s basketball team, of which I am a co-captain, lost a heartbreaking overtime game to Cal Poly Pomona in the first round of our conference playoffs. I’ll be processing that loss and my personal ending for months if not years.
But then, just a couple of days later, I received my first ever coaching job at a high profile youth program in Southern California. I was back on top.
Except I was stressing about the virus the whole time. I live in the dorms, along with many of my teammates, where you can’t help but hear every rumor. But I also couldn’t shake the uncertainty of what might happen here, not after watching how so many universities around the country had closed their dorms and given their occupants an early and forced, summer vacation.
When the news finally came down around 3 p.m. Wednesday, it was more of a relief, though. My roommates and teammates were excited to say the least. We came to CSUDH from New Mexico and Las Vegas, from Bakersfield to Ventura. We couldn’t wait to go home for a while.
“I mean, why not do my school work from my house,” said Isaiah Morris, a sophomore business administration major, “I can have a home-cooked meal, spend time with my dog and have my own room back.”
I was planning on staying with my girlfriend until the situation settled down. But I still felt anxious about what might come next. And it did.
The NBA suspended its season and the NCAA canceled its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. Then my new coaching job was also put on hold for fears of the spreading virus.
In seven days, my basketball career ended, professional and college hoops were put on hold, my new job ended before it began and it like my school (and my life) was shutting down.
I couldn’t even take pleasure in online classes. Finishing my degree in my pajamas is a dream. Under the current circumstances however, this makes it more of a nightmare.
I think most of the other 712 inhabitants of on-campus housing feel like I do. Happy to go home for a few weeks or a couple of months; but bummed it’s happening this way. And then there are those for whom going home isn’t an option. One of my roommates has to stay in the dorms because of his job.
How depressing it is going to be hanging around an empty residence hall on an empty campus in the middle of a public health crisis?
But that’s not my only question. Eight weeks from walking in commencement holding that well-deserved diploma, I’m not asking the normal questions of a graduating senior like am I going to get a good job; are my career plans going to work out. I’m asking questions I never imagined.
What if the campus doesn’t reopen this semester? How will these online classes go, anyway? What about graduation? What about summer session? What if a student in the dorms tests positive? What if the virus situation somehow stabilizes and we can come back in mid-April? Will we still feel uneasy about returning to a dense university campus? What if we have gotten a bit too comfortable with online-only classes?
Will we even want to come back?