Adjusting to life at home in N.C. and living with uncertainty


Emery Moncrief

Photographing the empty streets of downtown Charlotte at lunch time with my sister, Emery, on March 30, 2020

CHARLOTTE, N.C.– If I get a call from my father, it usually means one of two things: I’m in trouble or something terribly wrong has happened. So when I woke up to a call from dad on March 20, 2020, I knew something serious was happening. 

My parents wanted me to come home, with fears that state borders may shut down and I wouldn’t be able to make it back to Charlotte, N.C.

Two hours later, I hit the road with all my camera, audio, and computer equipment. As well as whatever clean clothes, canned goods, frozen chicken, toilet paper, and Lysol wipes I had. I did not know when I would return to my apartment or my normal college life. 

When I first heard about school moving online for just a few weeks, I was ecstatic. I’m kind of a homebody and admittedly I’ve never had a perfect attendance record in school. But, with news of COVID-19 spreading through Georgia, I grew worried as to what this meant for the rest of my sophomore year. 

We will not return to campus for classes until the fall and I have to unexpectedly move out of my campus apartment by April 9. 

Luckily, my online course work is flexible and I am able to complete my coursework within one or two days instead of a few hours. 

I came home to babysit for the family I worked for last summer. Their main nanny is in her sixties and has a compromised immune system, so the mom thought I was a safer option for child care. 

In addition to babysitting, my days now consist of FaceTime calls with my boyfriend who leaves for the Navy soon, sharing memes with my friends on Instagram, and rewatching shows I’ve already watched, because I need to find comfort somewhere. 

My mom is in nursing school and while I am home, I have taken charge of cooking dinner every night as well as helping out with other house chores. 

I still have a lot of questions about my college life at Mercer. Will we be refunded part of our tuition? How will this affect the internship I was just offered? Will I be able to study abroad next year? I just don’t know. 

Despite all odds, I am thankful to have a home, family, and job to come back to in Charlotte, as I know for some of my peers these things are not as easily attainable.