Obviously, this semester is absolutely nothing like last year. I won’t even bother explaining how. But I at least thought I’d be okay with the extra alone time, that I might be better, even, since I like being alone more than some other people. And I thought that I’d be even better at being away from my family for long stretches of time, since I’d already handled it freshman year pretty well. But quarantine completely wrecked that for me, and I find myself struggling to get back to where I was before the world stopped.
Being suddenly sent home in March felt like a slap across the face. I had to pack up my entire room in a single night, and load it into my dad’s car the next morning, leaving all my new friends and the routine we had developed together. I was back to living full time at home. No little weekend visits or holiday breaks. I was gonna be home for the unforeseeable future.
At first I was resistant to it, minimizing the severity of the pandemic in my head and telling myself things would be back to normal in no time. But as quarantine continued to drag on, I allowed myself to feel comfortable and happy being with my family again, like I was back in high school. We fell into rhythm together as if I hadn’t been away at school, as if I’d never left after graduation.
I was productive, too. I was very lucky to land an online, full-time internship, I read and wrote, did yoga, and even learned how to crochet. And the best part was that I got to see my parents and my sisters every single day. No more planned FaceTime calls or hurried visits. It was just so easy now. No more college food, or sharing a room, or walking up Rabb for class every day. It was like I was still in high school, except it was better because it was summer. It was my safe little bubble.
Moving back on campus was a sort of shock to my system after almost six months of living at home. Getting together with friends is harder, getting food is more of a hassle, zoom class is more exhausting, and the political anxiety and uncertainties about COVID are piled on top of all that. And worst of all, I don’t get to walk down the stairs and pet my dog, or say good morning to my parents, or watch tv with my sisters like I did before.
I don’t think any of us could have anticipated the effects of having to suddenly move back home. And while I’m frustrated by this snag in what I wanted to be my smooth transition into adulthood, I’m so grateful that I got to spend that extra time with my family that I probably wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. It’s made me appreciate them even more than before. And it’s giving me something to look forward to when I get to go home next month.