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Monday, Dec 11, 2023

Kaleb Patterson '21.5 in Stanwood, Washington

Kaleb Patterson '21.5

Stanwood, Washington

Submitted March 25 and updated April 21, 2020

I was planning to study abroad with a program in Berlin, the classes for which were set to begin in mid-April. That was canceled and I had to come home from the U.K. in mid-March, where I was visiting other friends who were studying abroad. I decided to take the semester off and not take online classes, which has allowed me to work. I am currently living at home and working a few jobs, in the hopes that I will be able to find something to do this summer for which I can move away. Since I have been working, I am out and about quite often, but I am still completely isolated, only seeing my parents and occasionally my neighbor. 

On another walk with my dog Oreo!

Beyond the cancellation of study abroad, the greatest impact has thus far been the uncertainty: uncertainty in what the summer will hold, what the fall might look like and how secure my parents’ jobs will be. It is very much in the realm of possibility that this will put them out of work, meaning we lose our house and that our lives will change significantly. Thankfully, the Paycheck Protection Program that was passed as part of the CARES Act has allowed them to keep working for now!

What has been your greatest worry or day-to-day concern as coronavirus has spread?

I am worried most immediately about not being able to make plans this summer, as the strain of living at home and away from any friends becomes more unbearable each week. Beyond that, concern about paying for Middlebury next year and the future of my parents’ jobs have weighed heavily.

What has made you happy over the past few weeks?

The ability to FaceTime friends has been immensely important in bringing some happiness to life. Additionally, I am blessed to live in a place with outdoor spaces and trails immediately available, allowing me to exercise and spend time outside which has made everything a little more bearable.