EDITOR’S NOTE: Dalton Lambert is a recent graduate of Liberty University in Virginia, where he studied Business Administration and Biomedical Science. Lambert is currently enrolled in the Medical Sales College and plans on pursuing a career in healthcare/medical device sales upon graduation in July. Additionally, Lambert serves as an intern for both Altrux Medical and Covenant H.I.M.

I remember reading about the virus for the first time one morning in January. I also remember skimming over the article that mentioned it and not giving it a second thought.

At the time, I never would have imagined that the same virus that I blew off then would cause drastic changes in my lifestyle in only a matter of months. The severity of the virus’s potential consequences wouldn’t sink in for me until I heard rumors around my college that campus might be shut down. When the college announced that it would not be requiring students to come back to campus, it was in the middle of my spring break. When other students and I left for the break, we were fairly confident that we would be back in a week for business as usual. Not knowing that this would be the last time some of us saw each other for quite a while, we said our usual goodbyes and went our separate ways.

The announcement that my school would be partially closing finally made me realize that the virus was going to be a problem that was going to be sticking around. It was around the time of the announcement that new rumors of a national quarantine began circulating on the Internet. I wasn’t one to give attention to rumors, usually, but given the way I was caught off-guard by the last round of rumors, I decided to not take any chances. Anticipating the worst, I decided to head home to my family and continue the rest of my senior year at college online.

Believe it or not, spending your college days at home rather than on campus isn’t nearly as exciting – especially during a quarantine that has you marooned away from most other people. No residential classes to worry about seemed like a silver lining at first, but days quickly became repetitive and monotonous without the typical stimuluses that my life had before. Needless to say, it was hard to be thrilled that I would be spending my last few college classes in a Zoom call rather than a classroom.

However, there were many good things about quarantine. People are always complaining that they never have enough time in their lives, and when it was finally given to them via quarantine, they were back to wishing that they had their normal lives back. I complained just as much as the best of them at first, but after realizing that this time could either be a waste or an opportunity, depending on my perspective, I decided to embrace it. The virus gave me the opportunity to spend more quality time with my family, give proper focus to my physical health, take up hobbies that I kept putting off, and finish strong in my academics. There were many things that the virus took from me, but it also made room for many new things in my life that I am thankful for.

There are many facets to adapting to life after college – and a pandemic doesn’t make it any easier. It was disheartening to see our unprecedentedly strong economy transform into an economy of uncertainty in such a short time. The job opportunities that seemed abundant in the early months of the year all seemed to disappear in a matter of weeks. However, this change hasn’t broken my spirit, and I am still hunting everyday for an opportunity to break into my desired industry: medical device sales. I remain hopeful that the job market and economy will be able to return back to the way it was thriving pre-virus after a few more months.

At the end of the day, it is interesting to know that I am living out days that will be written out in history books one day. The way that I perceive the news and possible events like this one in the future will forever be changed. I am curious to see how our healthcare system will continue to adapt, and what exactly a post-virus America looks like.

Until then, I will continue putting in the hard work it takes to break into medical devices sales, spending time with my family, looking forward to reuniting with college friends, and washing my hands way more than usual.

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