Life In the Wake of a Pandemic – Shandiin’s Story
I’m a student here at Brigham Young University Hawaii. This was my last semester and on April 18th, I finally graduated with my Business Management – Finance Bachelor’s.
In the middle of the semester classes were canceled on campus. The following week we resumed with all of our classes being online. For myself it was it was extremely hard to focus on assignments the rest of that week. BYU Hawaii was one of the first colleges to cancel classes and cancel graduation in the same day. My family had already planned to fly out to Hawaii to celebrate my graduation. It was extremely hard for me to continue to stay focused in my last semester. I was able to get through it and finish out this past semester strong.
But it’s been difficult not to worry about my family. All I can do is watch from afar. Even if I could go home, I wouldn’t be able to visit them because they have a lot of underlying health conditions or they are much older. Distancing right now is really important so that our people are not spreading the virus. Many are being sent to the hospital and others lose their lives. There is not a day that goes by when I don’t think of my family and when I can see them again.
Also being here at BYU Hawaii, I was seeing how it was affecting students from so many other countries. I had a lot of friends who had to leave within a week to get home to their countries before they closed. Many of them didn’t make it home because their countries had already closed for entry. It was affecting their ability to be able to finish school at the same time. Many are stuck here still in Hawaii until further notice.
Looking back on this last semester, if I did not receive the American Indian services scholarship it would have been hard for me to sustain myself till the end of the semester. This one scholarship was able to give me peace of mind that I would have a roof over my head until graduation. I think that it is important to know that this scholarship program has helped me this semester. That going into the next semester I want others to continue on with their education and graduate from college. It is the best feeling knowing that you accomplished your goals and nothing can stand in the way of our educational pursuits.
– Shandiin White, Navajo