By Lauren Sieh
Staff reporter

I can barely move my arm.

This is sort of what I expected when I got my first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Most of my friends got it a month before me and said that their arms were sore.

I didn’t expect to be able to move my arm out of a fixed position without making a grunt of pain. Around the point of contact, it’s red, tender and a bit swollen. No matter the number of painkillers I take, I can still feel it.

My arm feels like a heavy weight, almost unusable. Sometimes it just feels numb, like it’s not even there. That’s the weirdest feeling, you know. I keep opening and closing my hand to make sure everything is still working.

However, I do not regret it. I do not regret getting the vaccine to better my chances of improving my health in the future.

You see, I feel like I’m one of the very few, especially on this campus, that hasn’t gotten Covid-19. I had survived over a whole year since Covid-19 came to the U.S. without getting it. I’ve gotten close to the virus, though, with multiple family members, friends and teammates that have had it.

Thus, I was glad that the school offered a day for students to get it for free. As soon as they sent out the information to get an appointment set up, I signed up right away. It makes me even more glad to hear that 95 other students signed up as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if it came out that I was the first to get an appointment. That’s how fast I whipped out my computer and personal information.

It was also appealing to me that the school is offering a second dosage date at the end of the month. This means I will be fully vaccinated before I return home. Fully healthy and not at risk or risk.

It was always a concern to me this last school year that I might bring the virus home. Especially during the first semester, when the numbers of cases on campus felt like they kept on rising rather than decreasing. Plus, my parents would attend my golf tournaments and would want to hug and kiss me since they had not seen me in a while.

I was always afraid that I was asymptomatic and could be infecting everyone I contacted. Despite the dozens of Covid-19 tests that I took, it was still a fear of mine. I was afraid that the tests could give out false results. I couldn’t keep my mind off of how accurate they could be.

This first dose releases tension that was once there. It makes me a little more confident and okay to see my parents next week at my golf tournament. It makes me feel that I’m safe, not only for myself but the people around me.

Yes, it’s still the first dosage, and I have one more to go. Even if this first dose doesn’t leave me completely immune, I still feel a little safer.

Now, this doesn’t mean that I’m going to say goodbye to the mask or stop sanitizing anything and everything. It doesn’t mean that I am now going to let my guard down. This means that I have a piece of mind knowing that I’m being vaccinated.

I will admit, though, that my being afraid is not quite over. There’s still the dreaded second dosage that everyone is talking about. You know, the one that is reporting a large number of side effects.

This scares me a lot. I’ve heard the rumors, seen the videos and read the stories. The side effects seem terrible. It looks like it makes you have Covid-19, not that I would know anything about that.

What if I get some of those side effects? What if takes me out for a couple of days?

My second dosage will be happening in three weeks. That puts it around finals week. What will happen if I feel so sick for the shot that I miss one of my finals or even a few?

I’m almost to the finish line. I am supposed to graduate in 33 days. If I miss those finals, then I’ll get a bad grade. That might make me lose the chance to graduate if I don’t pass.

These are just thoughts that keep swirling around in my head. Will I be okay?

All I can do, for now, is think positive, believe that the second dosage will not make me sick, and that finals will go by smoothly.