Patrick Henry College sophomore Nathaniel Reiley flew from PHC to his home in Maui, HI to self quarantine with the rest of the world. He is now living with a 6-hour time difference from his classes and fellow classmates.
We chatted with Reiley about creating new routines, what he's learning in self-isolation, and how he's trusting in God.
Made for Community
"There's a reason God gave us friends and family. Left to myself [in quarantine], I think only about my own interests and cease to think of others," said Reiley. "Community is a crucial part of the Christian life, and we should try to bless the communities that God puts us in."
A community changes when the social aspect of one is taken away; a PHC student is able to be anywhere on campus within minutes. Now separated from that, Reiley and the rest of the PHC community are learning how important community really is.
Although Reiley is now home with his family and friends, self-quarantine not only separates him from his fellow students and PHC community, but also keeps Reiley away from the community that he would normally find at home.
"Hawaii has now made it illegal to even walk or run on the beach, and it is also illegal for two or more people to leave their house at the same time," said Reiley.
More Than a Simple Routine Change
Once arriving in Maui, a few hours before Maui's official, mandatory quarantine, Reiley went into self-quarantine as a precaution. At the same time, Reiley had to adjust to the 6-hour time difference that was now his reality.
With Hawaii being 6 hours behind PHC's Eastern Standard Time, Reiley had to adjust to his classes and classmates operating 6 hours ahead of him. Instead of attending classes at 9Am or 10:40AM, Reiley must get up hours before the sun to attend his classes.
"The hardest part of the time change is getting up at 3AM every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and 4:30AM every Tuesday/Thursday for morning classes, said Reiley. "They're so good, they're worth getting up for though!"
Through the time change, Reiley is learning the importance of completing assignments ahead of time—even if that means being awake at 3AM to do so. "I've practically been living on West Coast time and going to bed around 8PM," said Reiley. "Also, it's teaching me to procrastinate less, since I have to turn my assignments in six hours earlier than I would have to when on campus."
Finding the Beauty in Change
Through the confusion, drastic changes, and self-quarantine, Reiley sees God's hand in this time.
"[God] is very good! No matter what happens, He never ceases to bless you and teach you valuable life lessors," said Reiley. "Even through this difficult time, it is clear that He is bringing about much good despite the evil of death and sickness."
However, Reiley acknowledges the time he lost and experiences he's missing. "God has blessed me with incredible friends these last couple of years and i'm really sad I missed several months of valuable time with them," said Reiley. "Finally, i'm missing the beautiful Virginia spring and playing all the awesome sports that our campus provides us. I'm looking forward to coming back in the fall, God willing!"
"Trust in God. Despite the shaking up of all our grand plans, we know that God's plan is far greater and better. Somehow, years later, we'll look back and say, 'Wow, God really knew what He was doing, didn't He?' It really helps one to remember that God is in control, not us, and how grateful we should be that it is, and always will be, that way."
Here are some photos from Reiley's routine while remote learning!
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