What a Way to Finish College

By Nicolas Lucente, Multiplatform Journalism major, D.U.Quark Intern

The last month has been a crazy one for myself. I got back from Easter break ready to end the year and my time at Duquesne University strong. Then, Southside bars opened back up again allowing 75% capacity. “Oh boy, what a way to end the year,” I thought. For the entirety of my senior year and a lot of my junior year, the ability to go to bars and see people you rarely get to see was taken away from us because of COVID. I’m not complaining and I completely agreed with the shutdown, but it was definitely a bummer. So when my friends and I all came back after Easter and heard the news, it was exciting. We were going to be able to end our senior years celebrating like others have in the past before the pandemic. 

Well, that didn’t last long.

I immediately got sick after going out the first weekend back in Pittsburgh. Of course, my first thought was that I had COVID. So, after a few days seeing if it would pass, I went to a MedExpress to get tested. Rapid test was negative. “Okay, well, that doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t have it. Let’s wait for the lab results in a few days,” I told myself. I was sick the entire week. I felt tired all of the time and my body ached. Results come in: negative.

Then I thought that I must have just caught the flu or have a bad cold and I just had to ride it out. That’s what I thought at least. A week has come and gone of doing absolutely nothing since I didn’t have the attention span or energy. Now Monday rolls around and when I wake up I am breathing like a just ran a marathon. I walk around a little and my breathing is very rapid. “I definitely have COVID, there’s no shot I don’t,” I thought.

Instead of MedExpress, because those tests get pricey, I head over to Duquesne to get tested once again. The rapid test came back positive immediately and the Duquesne doctors and nurses were concerned about my breathing. They decided that I needed an X-ray of my lungs and sent me to the Mercy emergency room.

When I get there, the nurses get me to a room quick and they get the X-ray done almost right away. Turns out, the COVID had drastically effected my right lung. The nurse used a term that I was not familiar with, but basically my right lung was not working efficiently in the slightest, forcing my left lung to work overtime. “So how do I get my lung back to 100%?” I asked the nurse. They prescribed be a steroid to help bring my lung back to full health, which took an additional week of pretty much doing nothing in my room and quarantining away from my roommates.

I really thought I was in the clear of COVID. I had never gotten it before and I was planning on going home after graduation to get my vaccine, but Corona had different plans and caught me at the last second.

Two and a half weeks after I initially got sick, I was finally better. But geez, now I have to catch up on all this work that I had put off in the last couple of weeks and all before finals the began the next week. My professors understood the predicament I was in and gave me the time I needed to finish my assignments, but I feel like I’ve been cramming for weeks now just to make sure I got everything done in time.

All of that being said, I finished. Finals and all, I am done. I also feel so lucky that I did not catch Coronavirus this week when I am supposed to graduate on Friday.

Any who, it’s been a crazy month and an incredibly odd way to finish college. But that’s life I guess, just rolling with the punches and hopefully get a lick in there every chance you can get. 

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