VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – University students in B.C. are excited to finally receive their COVID-19 vaccine, especially after a tough year of online schooling.
Their excitement comes after the province opened vaccine eligibility for everyone 18 and over Sunday.
Many students who are finally in line for the coveted COVID-19 vaccine, are looking forward to leaving the confines of their bedrooms to experience university life once more.
“It’s just been really hard, sad, lonely, and stressful,” Jastina Maranjyan, a first year student at the University of British Columbia told NEWS 1130.
“School has been really hard online. I know a lot of people have said it’s been hard to feel motivated for [online school].”
For Maranjyan, the year of online schooling comes at a vital moment in her life as she experiences university for the first time.
“I was a high school graduate last year when this all started, so we missed out on grad and all the parties — all the stuff you never thought you’d miss … So I’m really excited for things to go back to normal — whatever it takes,” she said.
The first year of university is a special moment for young people as they meet new friends, experience things for the first time and explore what it means to be an adult.
While online schooling has been a safer option for students, Medina Wardman, another first-year UBC student, feels that the experience was harmful in some ways.
“You’re kept inside all day, every day. And I think I only went outside to see my friends two times,” she explained. “That really takes a toll on your mental health … So I really want to be able to get back out there and start meeting people again.”
With the vaccine almost in her grasp, Maranjyan is not only looking forward to new experiences, but to experience the ordinary things she never expected to miss.
“I miss hugs and I miss people. I miss regular day-to-day activities … I know everyone’s just ready for this all to be over, this whole nightmare.
“A lot of people are just going to do anything to get over it and take things back to normal. I’m just looking forward to that date when everything goes back to normal again.”
Meanwhile, Wardman has already received her vaccine through her eligibility as a status Indian, and says the vaccine gave her a much-needed sense of relief.
A similar feeling she has noticed with her friends as they sign up for their COVID-19 vaccines.
“Everyone’s been stuck inside for so long, that i think it’s just … a weight off your chest to get [the vaccine appointment]. And that’s the general consensus with young people.”
With UBC promising to have in-person classes in the coming fall semester, students like Maranjyan and Wardman will finally be able to make up for missed experiences.
“I’m just really excited to be able to go and meet people, because I feel like this opportunity was kind of taken away from meeting people for the first time in a first-year setting. But I’m excited to meet new people and have new experiences,” said Wardman.