Students share their experiences living through a pandemic ridden summer

When the United States began seeing high numbers of COVID-19 outbreaks in March, mandatory stay-at-home orders were put in place across the country — impacting how Cal Poly Pomona students coped with the end of the fall semester and, eventually, how they spent their summers.

With most businesses temporarily closed, travel being discouraged and social distancing rules in place, physically hanging out with friends has become nearly impossible. Despite the unusual circumstances, students shared their experiences living through the summer amid the global pandemic.

Nicole Spinos | Fourth-year gender, ethnic and multicultural studies student (Courtesy of Grace Johnson)


“While this summer was unlike any other summer anyone has had thus far, I tried to make it as normal as possible. I first started my summer by picking up a new hobby: embroidery. When it started getting warmer, I was spending more time outside, whether it was for swimming, walking my dogs or just being outside and playing a card game. I had also picked up an online summer course at my local community college to keep myself busy.”





Jimmy Luis | Second-year business student (Courtesy of Grace Johnson)


“This summer was definitely one of the most different compared to others in the past because of COVID-19. During the beginning of summer, I was trying to surf as much as I could because it was basically the only way to go out. I thankfully still got to see friends and went on small vacations. I later decided to get a job at the Costco Business Center where it helped to make the time go faster. I would say that I am satisfied with how this summer went even with the huge problems that are occurring in our lives.”




Olivia Isidro | Fourth-year hospitality management student (Courtesy of Grace Johnson)


“During the quarantine, I decided to become a full-time front desk agent and a part-time night auditor at the Holiday Inn Hotel. I got the opportunity to excel in my profession during this time of crisis, and I learned so many new things. Although this was not the summer I expected, I am just so grateful to be working and providing for my family during these unprecedented times.”





Kenneth Hamel IV | Fourth-year graphic design student (Courtesy of Grace Johnson)


“My summer consisted of a lot of independent experiences. I lived alone for four months and learned how to cope with spending copious amounts of time by myself, which many tend to struggle with. My creative process included reading, working out, yoga, intermittent fasting and journaling many possible new design ideas. I am a freelance graphic designer as well, so I spent time researching the fields of my clients, finding their target audiences and competitors and creating logo marks to enhance their lives.”




Drake Paskavan | Third-year civil engineering student (Courtesy of Grace Johnson)


“I spent the entire summer working. I got a job at a local grocery store and was working 35 to 40 hours per week. I also was taking Calculus 3 at a community college for six weeks while I was working. I still traveled a little bit. I went out to Lake Havasu for the Memorial Day weekend and went to Las Vegas a few times.”






Anahit Sashoyan | Fourth-year marketing student (Courtesy of Grace Johnson)


“As devastating and difficult as the pandemic has been, I’ve found comfort and happiness in spending more time exercising to better myself, not only physically but mentally. Quarantine has also allowed more family time. Through it all, my new baby nephew has brought the family immense positivity and joy during a time like this.”





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