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Profile Story Example

A Familiar Story

Justin Li is a senior Strategic Communications and Art studies student at Whitworth University whose current setback is not unique in 2020.

Everyone has been affected by COVID-19 to some degree and Li is no different. This fall he was supposed to be on his way to Washington D.C. to intern at one of Smithsonian Museums. While at first he said “Now I’m sad,” with a tinge of sarcasm, he then went on to explain the severity of the situation, “I need an internship to graduate so my life just became much, much harder.”

Despite the current situation delaying his Communications graduation date and eliminating all the work put towards an art degree, Li is determined to find the next step forward. He chose not to dwell on what could have (and should have) been. Instead, he promptly decided to take the semester off and started studying for the GRE. He said he would have not considered studying for the standardized test otherwise, but it only makes sense given the current circumstance.

Regardless of the chaotic past six months, Li cites growing out his hair as the only fundamental change to his person, “I’m COVID free, so I don’t think I’ve changed as a person,” he said. This lack of apparent personality shift is another instance of a globally shared similarity in a time of significant suffering and interruption. Long-time friend of Li, Joshua Gere, echoed a similar sentiment, “We’ve been chatting a lot on Discord and have been able to have some great conversations about politics, music, religion, and our personal lives – just as we’ve always had.”

Ryan Eldridge continued along this theme saying, “I have a good idea of what he’s like in real life, but it would still be weird to meet him.” Eldridge and Li have become friends online over the past six months but had never met before their online interactions. Eldridge’s hesitance to meeting Li in person mirrors the omnipresent feeling of uncertainty in 2020. Li said, “Having a semester off has been nice, but it feels weird not having anything to do outside of studying for this test.”

Lives have been offset, traditional social standards have been revised, and communication has changed. Yet, people still have to find the next step in an uncertain world. Li is an example of how to continue forward among an unprecedented and tragic worldwide pandemic.

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