My Summer in Quarantine

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, I’m sure most people would agree that summer 2020 was unlike any other. However, despite the unusual circumstances, I’m grateful for the memories I made, and I’m happy I can look back on this summer fondly. So, it seemed fitting to dedicate my first article of the semester to sharing a few of those moments!

Without further ado, here are some highlights from my summer:

1. Enjoying my family’s new garden

Back in April, my family started a vegetable garden in our backyard. Over the summer, we had the pleasure of finally seeing those vegetables come to life! Unfortunately improving my cooking skills was not one of my highlights this year, but my mom made a ton of great dishes for us. Her blueberry zucchini bread is the best!

2. Making the most of my amazing internship experience!

For most of the summer, I had the honor of interning remotely for an optics and photonics company. As a corporate communications intern, I primarily worked on revamping our social media presence and writing internal features.

It was really cool to find a role that was nearly the perfect intersection of what I’m studying—marketing, creative writing, and journalism—and be able to apply and develop skills I’ve built at Rochester.

I’m also lucky I found exceptional role models—on both a personal and professional level—in my mentor and manager and was able to form new friendships with other interns. The combination of the work I did and the people I worked with made the experience super special.

Particularly with the state the world is in right now, I’m incredibly grateful that having an internship was a possibility for me this summer. To sum it up, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience!

3. Exploring my hometown

As much as I miss Rochester, I’m thankful for the new perspective quarantine has given me on my hometown. Although the SF Bay Area was the only place I’d lived until college, being in Rochester made me realize how little I’d actually explored it. So, this summer I’m glad I had the chance to go on hikes, take more walks around my neighborhood, and pay better attention to my surroundings.

Especially with the wildfires happening in California (which fortunately I haven’t needed to evacuate for), I’ve felt a lot more attached to the Bay Area lately, and even more appreciative of growing up here. As I take classes remotely from home this semester, I hope I’ll find time for more fun adventures!

4. Journaling

I first started journaling in elementary school, but it was never something I stuck to on a consistent basis. For no particular reason, starting in June, I made it a goal to write something every day for the month. Eventually I extended this target through July.

With classes in session I’ve sidelined this hobby a bit, but I’m glad I could prove to myself that I could journal more regularly!

5. Spending time with family

Although I was already pretty close with my family, I’m happy we could spend more time together this summer. Considering how quickly this year has flown by, being in quarantine has been a good reminder to cherish my time with them. My dog has probably been the happiest member of our family now that we’ve given him way more attention!


Overall, while this was the most unique summer I’ve had so far, I’m beyond grateful for all the positive experiences. In the spirit of Meliora, here’s to hoping all of us can have an even better summer next year!

About the author

Carolyn Richter

Hi! I’m a member of the Class of 2022 majoring in marketing and creative writing with a minor in journalism. I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but I’m thrilled to share my experiences about the second home I’ve found at the University of Rochester. On campus I participate in the Campus Times, Forté Campus, Cancer Awareness Club, and Hatha Yoga Club.

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