Vaccinated Husker wins time for self-care

· 3 min read

Vaccinated Husker wins time for self-care

Elizabeth Pernicek is photographed in front of a brick wall.
Elizabeth Pernicek

Elizabeth Pernicek’s first year at college was unusual, and at times isolating, but she’s excited to try again under more normal circumstances.

The possibility of returning to normal was one of the reasons Pernicek decided early on to get vaccinated against COVID-19, as was wanting to help break the chain of infection.

“I wanted to make sure that I wouldn’t be responsible for getting anyone that I cared about sick, and even people that I don’t know, I didn’t want to pass it on to them,” Pernicek, an architecture major, said. “It’s very easy to spread it without knowing that you have it yet, and I knew that I didn’t want to be behind putting someone else’s family member in danger.”

Now, just days away from the start of her sophomore year, normalcy feels possible. So does another change — learning to slow down.

And because she registered her vaccine information with the Voluntary COVID-19 Vaccine Registry, she will have a monthly reminder to take some time for self-care. Pernicek was one of the vaccine registry giveaway winners of a semester of monthly massages from Campus Recreation.

“I’m very happy about the prize,” Pernicek said. “I wanted to make a point of taking time for myself and to relax this year. I tend to push everything else aside when I’m working on something and put 100% toward school. I forget to take time for myself, and I know that’s not sustainable.”

Pernicek is also ready to take advantage of all the opportunities available to her as a college student. The native of Brainard, Nebraska, is looking forward to immersing herself in campus life, something she couldn’t really do as much last year.

“My high school was very small, so I was really excited to get out and meet people, and I felt like that was taken away from me,” Pernicek said. “You can’t really introduce yourself the same way in (a socially distanced) class or talk with people over Zoom. I felt pretty lost and alone on campus that first couple of weeks. It was a really weird experience, but it makes me that much more excited for this fall.”

As a visual, hands-on learner, Pernicek is happy to be returning to classrooms full-time. But the Honors student is most excited to be among her fellow Huskers while cheering on the home team.

“I’ve lived in Nebraska my whole life, and I’ve never been to a Husker football game, so I signed up for that as soon as I could,” she said. “I know that sounds like a cliché Husker response, but coming from a small town, I’m looking forward to being in a big student section, having a group of people around you, cheering along with you.”

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