COVID turns College Athlete into Dog Dad by Julia D’Apolito

The COVID-19 pandemic stole numerous opportunities and experiences from seniors graduating in 2020. Nick D’Apolito, a first-year student at Arcadia University and a Council Rock High School North 2020 graduate, is just one of them. 

D’Apolito said he has been playing baseball for as long as he can remember. With the pandemic starting at the same time as his high school’s spring sport season, D’Apolito lost his final year playing as a Council Rock North Indian. 

“The only thing I was upset about losing was my baseball season,” said D’Apolito. “I didn’t care much about our Disney trip or in-person graduation. I’d give them both up for my senior season, anyways.”

D’Apolito committed to play for Arcadia’s baseball team in early November 2019, along with two of his high school teammates and oldest friends. Although his senior season was taken from him, D’Apolito remained positive while looking forward to Arcadia’s fall season.

However, on August 3, 2020, in a message from Arcadia’s President, the university announced they would be going fully remote for the Fall 2020 semester. 

D’Apolito was devastated by the update for his first semester of college, and adapting to this sudden change and loss of more baseball was difficult for him. 

However, D’Apolito said the bittersweetness of staying home is spending more time with his English labs, Maggie Mae and Beatrice. He was upset to leave them for college and worried that they would have a hard time adjusting to the sudden change, as well.  

D’Apolito grew closer with his dogs than he ever thought he would due to quarantining with them, and he feels as though their relationship has only grown stronger since the start of his remote semester. 

“With mom and dad working, I’m sometimes the only one who gives them attention during the day,” said D’Apolito. 

Maggie and Beatrice will lay at his feet while he sits at his desk during Zoom lectures, and D’Apolito will spend breaks between classes outside playing with the girls. The dogs spend almost every second of every day following him around, said D’Apolito. 

D’Apolito’s parents recently left him alone in the house to take a long weekend trip to Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. During this time, his whole day was planned around his two canine best friends. 

“I’d feel bad when I was at the gym or doing work and lost track of time, because as soon as I noticed it was past dinner time, I knew Maggie and Bea were just waiting for me, getting really hungry,” said D’Apolito. 

D’Apolito said he’s learned to be more responsible through taking care of his dogs, while also keeping up with his online classes. 

D’Apolito is majoring in biology and has been struggling to keep up with all his courses while learning remotely. D’Apolito said he feels that he is teaching a lot of the material to himself, especially in biology and chemistry. 

Although D’Apolito has been thrown several curveballs since the pandemic began in March, he remains hopeful for Arcadia University to return to in-person learning this spring.

Leave a Reply