Claire’s Column

This week, new assistant Arts & Life Editor talks about new changes in her life over the past two years.

Claire Schuppel

This week, new assistant Arts & Life Editor talks about new changes in her life over the past two years.

Claire Schuppel, Arts & Life Assistant Editor

I’ve always had a difficult time with change. I do not necessarily dislike the concept, but I am not one to seek change or make irrational decisions that will alter parts of my life. A lot of control escaped my grasp in the past year and a half with the pandemic and the shifts in my education that came with it, but I have tried my best to welcome the circumstances I have faced.

During this pandemic, I have finished and started many aspects of my life. I graduated from high school in 2020, leaving behind 12 years of public education from my childhood bedroom. I said goodbye to lifelong friends. I started college, beginning the preparation for the rest of my life — again, from the comfort of my childhood home. I dealt with the trials and tribulations of doing an entire year of my education over a computer screen. I hated all of this. 

Claire Schuppel in preschool. (Claire Schuppel)

The aforementioned changes are inevitable with age, as we all cannot remain in our high school homeroom for the rest of eternity; the circumstances were just far from ideal. Change is already hard for me, but the subversion of my expectations with these changes made the process just that much more difficult.

Flash forward to this fall: I was moving onto campus on the Friday before my first day back in the classroom since March 13, 2020. I felt just as, if not more terrified than the average college freshman going into Campion or Hamlin for the first time. I was completely lost trying to navigate the dining hall and making sure I knew the difference between the east and west sides of Dolan, as I was just having my “freshman” experience much later than most usually do. Again, a change I did not expect to happen in such a manner. 

There was a lot of negative change that occurred, so it is important to not dwell on the uncontrollable and realign my perspective into a more positive one. A lot of good has come from the last year still: I’ve finally gotten to know more people on campus, I’ve expanded my knowledge in my field of study, I have become more involved at Carroll and that has led me to writing this column today. 

With mentioning the positives, I feel that it is important to mention the small things that have kept me afloat in times of need. Primarily, that is family, friends, books and all other forms of entertainment. I’ve torn through more books this year than in all of high school and I’ve watched hundreds of hours of movies. I’ve cautiously attended concerts and had the time of my life. I did all of this while surrounded by people I love. That is another thing I have noticed: having these moments to breathe and enjoy life is essential in the midst of our chaotic world. 

There is not one doubt in my mind that things are going to be different for a long time, altering the plans I made for myself. The pandemic and all of these hasty transitions have gone beyond testing my patience. While those moments were unideal in the moment, I’ve grown much more in my ability to handle these occurrences. The abnormal is something to be embraced, which I discovered in my 19th year.