Voices    Coronavirus, Lifestyle

Finding a new normal: CHStoday intern and graduating senior offers perspective on how school, work has changed

Maggie Vickrey | Photo provided

As our community works to collectively adjust to this new normal, we want to share the perspectives of people in the Charleston community who are working to adapt their lifestyles, family dynamics, business models, workflow, + more during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today we’re hearing from Maggie Vickrey, a graduating senior from the College of Charleston and our current digital media intern for CHStoday.

Interested in sharing your own experiences? Click here to submit.

Hi, y’all 👋 I wanted to give you a peek into how things have changed behind the scenes here and also offer a perspective on what this time is like for a graduating senior. 

What do you do for a living?
I’m currently wrapping up my undergraduate degree in communications & sociology at CofC, interning as the digital media intern for CHStoday and, before restaurants closed, I was a server at Fuel Cantina.

How has your work been affected by coronavirus?
As an intern, I’ve gotten the chance to expand my responsibilities with so much to share and bring together amid the current crisis. It’s been incredible to see all the things people in this community are doing to help each other and our local businesses. This work has taken on a whole new meaning, knowing that it can be a resource to people and industries struggling most right now.

As a student, all of my classes have moved to a virtual format, which wasn’t too big of a change as I’ve taken online classes before. Most of my class content revolves around long-term personal projects this semester, so I have felt comfortable working independently.

How has your personal life and/or family been affected by coronavirus?
My mom is a pre-k teacher so she has been home for a couple of weeks now. My dad is an aircraft mechanic and though there are very few people traveling and even fewer flights going out, he is still going in to work to prep planes for the next couple months that they may not be flying.

What impacts do you think the pandemic will have on your life and/or business as time goes on?
As someone about to enter the workforce, I think my job search and job opportunities will look different than I had planned. However, I have discovered so many virtual resources that I’m eager to utilize during this downtime to best prepare me for this job market.

I think COVID-19 will change the way this generation thinks, especially the graduating classes of 2020, both college and high school. I hope it will make everyone value in-person connections more and encourage us to put down our phones and really cherish the time we have together. I also believe it will change our perception of the importance of essential workers, and add value to travel.

If your business and/or industry has been affected by the coronavirus, what can members of the community do to support your business and others like it during this time?
As someone who worked in the food & bev industry, I think it is crucial to support small local businesses right now. As a lover of the food scene here, I think it’s crucial to keep the businesses we adore alive so we have somewhere to rejoice once this is all over! So buy gift cards, order take out and make donations if you can. Supporting local farmers is also imperative. If you’re someone who doesn’t usually shop at farmers markets, now is the best time to try. You’ll get the freshest produce and potentially meet the people who grow and prepare your food.

What do you look forward to doing the most once everything goes back to normal?
I honestly miss my hectic schedule (though this new normal is hectic in its own way). I was so used to bouncing from place to place each day and it has made me realize how hard it is to be productive when I’m in a static environment and have a lack of time restraints.

I also miss talking about the little things with my friends. Sharing embarrassing moments, a good test grade, funny things that’d happen to us, any random detail about our days always made me happy. I really can’t wait to just all be together, whether that’s out to dinner, singing to music in the car, or hanging out at home.

What message do you have for the Charleston community right now?
Stay positive. It’s critical that we remain extremely cautious and mindful during this time without neglecting to take care of our mental health. It can be easy to get overwhelmed and down but as long as you are following protocol there’s no harm in making the best of it. There are good things coming out of this. This will not last forever. We will all leave this year having grown in more ways than anyone could have ever imagined.

What local restaurant do you plan on dining out at first once this is over?
I miss being surrounded by the lively atmosphere at Fuel, I never thought I’d miss work so much! I’d honestly be overjoyed to be anywhere with my friends but I’ve really been missing Coquin cocktails, Huriyali acai bowls, and Circes wraps.