Spring Forward

By Claire Neiberg, English Major / ARYSE Intern

My favorite days this semester have been the surprisingly sunny, 60-degree days that have been sporadic throughout February and March. Stepping out of my building and feeling the warm sun hit my face after weeks of winter is a fantastic feeling, and now that the weather has been consistently warmer, I can’t help but feel happy.

With the warmer weather, I’ve also been able to see the light at the end of the tunnel through the efforts to get more people vaccinated and the significant drop in COVID cases since Christmas. Thanks to ARYSE and Pittsburgh Public Schools, I am now fully vaccinated! While I know that the vaccine does not guarantee full protection against the virus, it gives me some peace of mind knowing that I am more protected than I was before.

The after-school soccer program I have been working with has also resumed its in-person activities. While this means less kids at the program I will still be attending, I’m excited that their in-person programs are opening back up and I hope our do as well. I’m also hopeful that some of PRYSE will be able to be conducted in-person, because while virtual learning has its place and purpose, nothing can replace face-to-face instruction when it comes to working with kids.

My internship work also feels like it is really coming together. I did a lot of research into different cases last week, using the resources given to me in my Legal Research and Writing class. I found it to be extremely interesting and meaningful work. Sitting in the library for six hours with a venti ice tea, reading and briefing cases, also made me feel like a law student. I hope to be working with this same enthusiasm next year…

This past weekend, I went home for Easter and brought my best friend with me. I don’t think my parents would have felt safe having any one other than family in my house this time last year, so being able to bring my friend home and have her meet my sister and get to know my parents better was something I had been wanting to do. Our whole house has had either one or both doses of the vaccine, and we’re still the family of introverts that were perfectly content with being home all day one year ago, so we haven’t done anything that would put any one of us as risk.

While there’s still a long road ahead of us, I’m feeling more hopeful than ever. 

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