By Emma McFarland

Nearly one year after Northwest students began hearing about the COVID-19 virus, and ultimately came back to campus from break only to return home for lockdown and online school, we have reached spring break again.

Spring break is usually a week where some students travel for warm weather or a time of rest. This year has been long and has confronted our ability to take heart and live hopefully. Many students have looked forward to the break to pause and rest after the emotions of living one year in lockdown. While Northwest has been blessed to have in-person classes, the effects of the pandemic were not far from our minds as we left for spring break.

Although the Center for Disease Control still offers advice and restrictions on travel, many students still chose to travel, while others chose to remain on campus or at home nearby. Students visited places like Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York.

Even I  put on my mask and traveled to Las Vegas. Throughout the airport and city, masks were required and spaces that could not be adjusted to meet Nevada state requirements were closed. These realities, especially wearing a mask while sitting by the pool, made spring break feel distinctly different than in the past. Although break felt different, I found myself feeling hopeful as members of my family began to be vaccinated and COVID-19 infection numbers in Washington state remained at a lower rate.

Adiel Wenger split her break between her home in Pullman, Wash. and her apartment on campus. When asked if her break felt different, she explains last year she was in Hawaii on the Choralons tour. She says “Although I didn’t get to travel for Choralons, it still felt very similar because I was traveling home and visiting home at the same time, I would have traveled for Choralons.”

Wenger also offered a note to encourage others to stay hopeful, “I think I felt more hopeful because it was beautiful on campus that week. There are way less unknowns about COVID and it seems there is an end in sight now as opposed to last spring.”