Behind the Story: Tik Toks and Long Walks; How A Computer Science Senior Is Finding Peace During the Pandemic

Mya working safely to provide regulars with their go-to ciders | Courtesy of Mya Hauck

Everyone has had to adapt to the challenges of a COVID-19 world in their own unique way. For our COVID Diaries project, we interviewed one of Charlotte’s roommates, Mya Hauck, a computer science senior to find out how she has been braving the storm on her own in SLO without her family. She shared a number of uplifting activities that anyone can do to bring light to their lives in these strange and chaotic times.

Fortunately, Charlotte and Mya live in the same house in SLO, so we were able to interview Mya rather easily with Charlotte there in-person, and myself present via zoom call. Mya radiated positivity like a daisy, and even though she’s been struggling with this new normal, she hasn’t allowed it to pull her spirits down.

She shared with us her daily routine, which normally consists of long walks around the neighborhood where she waves at friends in their houses, TikTok video creation with roommates, archery practice in her backyard, and mimosa-sipping with her family in Kentucky during happy hour zoom calls. While she’s working downtown at the Cider Bar SLO, she remains safe and masked while supplying customers with their essential ciders. She admits she isn’t quite sure how to act given the social distancing protocols, but she smiles through the awkwardness because she recognizes we’re all in the same boat together.

Courtesy | Mya Hauck

Charlotte filmed the interview, worked her video-editing magic for this story and integrated some of Mya’s TikTok videos for readers to enjoy and be inspired by, while I worked on the Word portion – providing the written body of the article and organizing the information into a seamless experience for the readers.

“Mya and I have been roommates for almost a year now and since the shelter-in-place order we have become closer as both roommates and friends,” Charlotte said. “I think working on this story about her experience with the pandemic has helped me to understand her life better and grow an even greater appreciation for the wonderful Kentucky-California girl she is. Watching her TikTok dances and running into the ocean at sunset with her have given me so much joy during this dark time and I am so happy with the work that came from Tanner and my’s project.”

We concluded the story with Mya’s final reflection – a sort of food-for-thought for the reader reminding us that there are silver linings that outshine the darkness of COVID-19:

I guess social interaction is the biggest thing I have learned about myself,” Mya said. “I think I need more than I thought I did. Before this, I would have said I could stay in my room all day, every day, and be fine. But now, I’m thinking differently about it. I realized I need to take things a lot slower than I have before and really appreciate the time I have to spend with my people.”

Courtesy | Mya Hauck

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