International student looks on bright side of COVID-19 experience

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Lorenzo Bender pictured with his family, wearing masks

Lorenzo Bender (right) with his brother, father, and mother at home in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Lorenzo Bender attends a basketball game - February 2020

Lorenzo Bender attended a Scecina basketball about three weeks before he had to go home to Brazil.

Lorenzo Bender was spending his second school year at Scecina as an international student from Porto Alegre, Brazil. He returned to Brazil on March 17, 2020.

By Lorenzo Bender

Having to come back to my country and home in a hurry because of such circumstances was definitely something I did not plan on doing. Not being able to say bye to all of my friends, having to organize my documentation and my suitcase, and the feeling of uncertainty of how things were going to be from now on brought me feelings that bothered me a lot. However, there are always good things we can take out of any situation.

Being far away from my friends that brought me so much joy every day was going to be hard, but since I was going to have to face this situation in whatever country I am due to social distancing, I might at least have my family close to me. Looking at this point, it is great to keep up with my American education by attending online classes and completing the assignments appointed by my Scecina teachers. Along with that, I have my family right next to me after so much time not being able to see them face to face.

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I am currently giving my best (and that little extra) by putting in effort and discipline on my online classes. We are living a previously unseen moment in history, in which we, students, teachers, and other staff members are having to adapt to a different way of learning, teaching, and working. Not having a teacher right next to me, it is tempting to not focus on my work. However, I must pay as much attention to class now as I used to three months ago, to keep up with my grades.

I believe everyone is being tremendously affected by this pandemic, but I don’t like to think of myself as someone who had to move countries due to COVID-19.

I rather imagine I am still in Indianapolis with my friends just a few blocks away from me, and I only can’t see them because I am following very strict social distance. With time, I will be able to just cross the street and hug them again.

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