Magazine
Chandler Rankin sits at desk

Outgoing UC Student Body President, Chandler Rankin


Last word


Emerging from a crisis more empathetic, grateful and united

BY CHANDLER RANKIN

 

Crises, as challenging as they can be, are merely tests. And as bright students of both society and academia, my peers and I have overcome them our entire lives. Right now, we overcome them together, bound by our ties to the Bearcat community.

It is still difficult for me to fathom the thoughts of the graduating senior that walked across MainStreet not knowing it would be for the last time, left their last meeting to never again convene with other incredible leaders or ate their last meal with good friends at their favorite Clifton restaurant without ever saying formal goodbyes, only to find out that they would not be walking across the stage at graduation in May as planned.

I can only sympathize with my friends that are international students and cannot get home to their families. I worry my friends who have no other place to go right now will experience loneliness. I admire those who will need to make much greater life sacrifices at this time, rightfully not being able to prioritize performance in classes over the health, safety and livelihoods of their families.

In a matter of days, a virus fundamentally changed our lives forever and took many of
the things from us that we have invested so much in. It has left us uncertain, angry and discouraged — not at the measures being taken that are necessary for our well-being, but at the unparalleled circumstances we find ourselves in that in some cases have just temporarily paused things, but in others have crushed lifelong dreams. However, I can say with confidence that this, too, shall pass. And the reason I know is because the same resilience that got us to this point will get us through this. Steadfast, we will come out of this better and stronger.

We will be more empathetic because of our shared struggles and heightened sense of obligation to help one another. When I hear of students in off-campus apartments allowing friends to temporarily stay with them, I know this to be true.


“We have shown that when we need each other the most, we are willing to give our very best.”


 

We will be more grateful because of the amazing individuals on the front lines of this crisis, sacrificing their health every day to care for the most vulnerable. When I see UC medical and nursing students rising to the occasion responding to the needs of our public health system, this is clear to me.

And we will be more united because of our collective fight in getting through this time of pain. When a professor told my class that no student would be expected to attend every course session in the midst of a global pandemic, this was undoubtedly reassured to me.

We have shown that when we need each other the most, we are willing to give our very best. This is what has bent the outcome in our favor time and again. This feat is no different.

As we alter our lifestyles and shift our mindsets to cope with our new versions of reality, on the other side of this crisis is our victory — one that in my mind, we have already won.

 

Chandler Rankin is the outgoing UC student body president who, along with his successor Logan Lindsay, has encouraged support for UC emergency relief funds during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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