AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)–We’ve all learned a lot about pivoting in the pandemic, it’s affected everyone.

In my industry, we learned to use technology in a new way and it’s actually made us a lot better. When you think of lessons learned in the pandemic, I have a niece who has a lot to share.

Her life’s course changed directions but it’s opened up possibilities she wouldn’t have otherwise considered.

Amy Claire Abel is a proud graduate of the University of Arizona, but her senior year ended abruptly, during Spring Break week. Like nearly all of the Class of 2020, college or high school, Amy Claire never got closure, or goodbyes.

“It was hard because there was no closure. I never got to go back and do the things all the seniors get to do. There’s a lot of special events and little ceremonies that the seniors get to participate in but I got to have special time with my family that I never thought I was gonna get to have. And so it really did work out in the end but I feel bad for now the kids who are in college currently who have had such an altered experience from what they were expecting.”

Her plans to enter the Peace Corps were pushed back, and pushed back again… to the point where she finally realized an assignment in Africa wasn’t on the horizon anytime soon. So, she decided to use the time she suddenly had on her hands, to fly to South Carolina and take care of her grandmother (my mother), who was recovering from heart surgery.

“It was a nice reflection period for sure. I had the time to talk to her and she’s also a great listener so she helped me out a lot. And so I felt like I was able to clear my head a little bit and kind of come up with a new plan.”

Around the globe, members of the Class of 2020 may not know each other, but they have a common bond.

“That is definitely true, yes, for sure. And it’s something I’ll be excited to tell my children one day. It was hard in the moment but I feel like it definitely made me stronger in all of us who had to go through the same thing.”

Amy Claire’s family had a college graduation celebration in their Cave Creek, AZ home.
Amy Claire’s extended family, from Idaho to South Carolina and Augusta, joined in the festivities via Zoom.