'We can’t forget what it’s like to be a kid’

Nov 20, 2020

Wesley Hickson with her mom as they vote early.


Sitting in her dorm room, trying to convince herself to get started on her work, Wesley Hickson finds that being in college is a lot like taking care of a toddler.

“You have to be gentle with yourself, make sure that you know you aren’t mad at yourself over things you can’t control.”

Wesley is a junior arts major at Claflin University and finds that working as a resident assistant during the pandemic has allowed her to look at everything differently.

“Everything is a little bit different. It’s scary that’s for sure, but it’s also interesting seeing how everyone is split into taking this seriously and often forgetting that this is going on.”

As she sits behind the desk, students walk by with masks on and wave hello. “Claflin tried to make sure that this was something that students paid attention to but at the end of the day, it’s all about them following the rules,” Wesley said.

Her job requires that she tell students that visitation is not in effect, even if they all live in the same dorm.

“They try to listen, but sometimes I have to step in. I try not to though. They’re adults, right? They should know better and I’m trying to see my grandma for the holidays.”

Wesley keeps in constant contact with her mother and grandmother, calling them frequently to check in.

“I miss them a lot. They make sure that I take care of myself and listen when I cry about school and work. Where would I really be without them?”

Her grandmother is someone that she tries to keep in mind often as she works.

“She could get hurt really bad by this COVID thing,” Wesley said. “I’m not gonna let this monster take away the biggest player in my life without making a fuss about it.”

She credits her grandmother with teaching her to treat herself as a child.

“She once told me that as we get older, we can’t forget what it’s like to be a kid. Quarantine made me remember what I liked to do as a kid, and I couldn’t remember why I let it all go. I like naps and snacks, I do better and feel better when I have that. Who said I had to let it go to become a real adult?”

Wesley says she uses this ideology when she needs to take care of students who are stressing out about everything going on.

“We’re still kids on the inside, we need to keep that in mind and maybe we won’t get stressed out as much in this already stressful life.”

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