Becoming an Adult During the Pandemic
Marielle Magno: I’d gone over all the subjects: writing, reading, geometry, algebra…all of it. This was the one and only SAT test, a huge stepping stone into college. But, to be honest, days before the actual test, my practice test scores were still not it. My prayers were begging for a passing score, but in my mind I was silently panicking. (Sigh) If there was only a way I didn’t have to take the test. Well, God definitely heard me, because a day before my test, the SAT was canceled. In fact, I didn’t even take the SAT at all! God canceled a nation-wide test, can you believe it? But that was March 2020, the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the beginning of my transition into adulthood.
What was supposed to be two weeks of quarantine, ended up being my entire senior year of high school. I went from waking up at 6 am every morning to waking up 2 minutes before my class. I expected to finish my senior year off strong, surrounded by my friends, and I was also excited to march my last show in the marching band with my other peers. But I just ended up playing my clarinet and marching in place in my room, alone.
Everything in my life during the pandemic was in a gray area, not knowing if life would go back to normal or change completely. Soon, college application season arrived in the Fall of 2020, and it was the prime time to list out all of your greatest accomplishments and all the hard work you did. But being isolated and alone during the pandemic did not help whatsoever, and it made college applications ten times harder. Think about it, imagine trying to sum up all of your greatest achievements in life when all you’ve done for the past 2 months is just watch Korean dramas and K-pop 24/7. It was hard to be inspired when all there was in the world was chaos, violence, disease, and social unrest.
I prayed to get accepted into all the schools I applied for. Then, I got my first college letter in the mail!
Rejected. It’s fine, I applied to more schools.
Then my second college letter arrives in the mail.. also rejected. Then 2 more rejections. Are we seeing the pattern here?
Before I knew it, there were only two left. My safe school and my dream school, the University of San Francisco. After this, my prayers were non-stop – even when I would pray for food, I would mention college. And then finally, a letter from the University of San Francisco arrives.
Waitlisted. I was gutted.
The chances of getting in after being waitlisted were still hopeful, but after experiencing so much uncertainty during the pandemic, it would have been nice to look forward to my future. But deep down, I gave up on my dream school…and gave up on myself.
I did get accepted into my safe school. So, half-heartedly, I just decided to accept the offer and commit there. So, my prayers changed. I asked God to help me accept His plans and to be positive. But once my dad heard that I stopped praying about my dream school, immediately he asked, “Why?! Why are you giving up on God? Being waitlisted gives even more reason to keep praying.” So, I added just one more sentence to my prayers: “ God, if it isn’t against Your will, may I be accepted into USF?” And six months after submitting my applications, a day before Holy Supper,I got accepted into USF!
So, today, I’m proud to say that I’ve completed my first year of nursing school and I even made it on the Dean’s Honor Roll. Like, I didn’t even know there was an honor roll in college, but look where I am now. And, a few weeks ago, I performed for the first time in the worship service as an adult choir member. Despite these several setbacks, God still blessed me with many successes and ultimately I learned how to trust God completely.
I’m part of a specific generation of young adults that came of age during the pandemic. We have high school and college experiences [that are] completely unique, and honestly, straight up frustrating. At the start of the pandemic, I was a high school student, and I didn’t know it at the time, but my SATs being canceled was just the start of the many changes and unexpected events I would go through while maturing into adulthood. But while experiencing the melancholy of lockdown and quarantine, when my only source of learning and socialization was through a computer screen, God was teaching me lessons about patience. When my plans for the future suddenly became hard to predict, God was teaching me lessons about trust. Because of my faith as a member of the Church Of Christ, while the world was stuck in uncertainty, I learned that I should never be uncertain about God.
GET TO KNOW US NAVIGATING LIFEINSIPIRING STORIES