How COVID-19 Impacted Life At Mercy College


Life changed for some once COVID-19 hit Mercy College. 

Life for Zaire Smith and Jack Seda-Schrieber before COVID-19 hit was a lot different as one can assume.    

Smith, a senior in college, had a very unique point of view since he had experienced college life before COVID-19, when COVID first started.

“Life before COVID was so much better than it is right now. It feels weird looking back to see how long ago it was before COVID actually happened.”

Before people were able to go on outings, go to concerts, go out to eat with friends without any restrictions, he recalls and comments at how new college enrollees had to deal with a different mindset.

“I dorm at Mercy so before I was able to bring my friends up to the room. They don’t let any commuters or outside guests could come up to the rooms.”

Smith also stated those were enjoyable times for him and how he reminisces on those times often. 

As for Seda-Schrieber, he is also a senior at Mercy College so he also experienced life prior to COVID fast-forwarding all the way to now. Life for him was great at Mercy before COVID hit. He is a music major so he would spend most of his days in the studio with no restrictions, spending time with friends and enjoying their company.

Both Smith and Seda-Schrieber were both freshman and sophomores when COVID hit, which leads up to the end of their sophomore years into their junior years here at Mercy when COVID touched down. 

Smith said when coronavirus pandemic first hit itt impacted his social life drastically and it was an uncertainty for him. He along with others weren’t sure if he along with everyone else would return back to campus in a week or two or in a few years.

“No one knew what was going on and none of us knew this would be the last time we would all see each other for a long time. When all that stuff happened, they were saying two weeks but none of us knew. What that showed me personally though is that we can make our own schedule, we can do what we want to do, but we don’t have the last say, God does. He already knew all of this was going to happen.”

Home for Smith is in Kentucky and when COVID-19 first hit, traveling became something completely foreign to him. He then went on to say how finishing up school online was the worst thing that could have happened. He really felt like that took away from his learning ability. 

Seda-Schrieber also had a similar experience when COVID first hit. He was going through his own problems. A wave of depression had crashed down on his life and he really feels like COVID had a role in that.

“At that point, I was trying to learn how to stay alive. Most of the things that kept me sane I couldn’t do. I couldn’t go out to see my friends, I couldn’t go out to get a bite to eat. It was like hitting ground zero but In the worst way. You had to cope with life mentally without using the things I once used before. Even though that journey was hell, I do believe that journey can make someone stronger.

As they reflect, Smith and Seda-Schrieber made some very comforting statements on how they are now dealing with COVID-19 now that things have become somewhat normal. Smith and Seda-Schrieber are now seniors at Mercy College and life for them has gotten a lot better day by day. They are both excited to see what life has in store for them and are enjoying every moment they can with this “new normal” they are now both living in.

COVID-19 taught Smith a lot of things about himself, and though he doesn’t think COVID is a good thing, he believes that everything happens for a reason, and because of COVID, it was a realization for him to take things for granted less.

“Being home for one helped me grow a closer relationship with God and it really showed me when I needed to work on myself. I was able to work on myself a lot because you have no choice but to spend time with your life at that point. COVID made me want to enjoy life more, it also helped me out financially since I had nowhere to spend my money,” he joked. 

When asked if COVID made Seda-Schrieber stronger, he said how he was in a better place mentally than he was before. Life isn’t perfect for him but he is working on it day by day. “I definitely feel like I’m at a better place mentally. I’m starting to see the light now, as a person and as an artist as well. It feels a lot better and I’m adjusting to the new normal. We are still living in this weird time but we are all adjusting in our own way.”