After a long six months of living back home, I was thrilled to come back on-campus. While BU announced its Fall 2020 hybrid learning system back in June, I did not decide to attend classes in-person until the beginning of August. For the longest time, I was not sure how much in-person learning I would even be able to receive and grappled with the guilt of knowing my professors did not even have the choice of teaching in-person or online.
That being said, by no means did I resent any professors who sought to teach online courses. Instead, I blame the BU administration for choosing a hybrid plan that implemented an inconsistent rotation between both educational structures. I wish our professors were given the freedom to choose how they most feel comfortable teaching, and it angers me that they lack autonomy under the current plan.
Despite all of this weighing on me, I decided to come back to campus on the contingency of living off-campus so I could avoid the highly clustered dorm environment.
While that process continued throughout the week, I also began classes on Wednesday. Some of my professors were understandably confused about jumping between teaching in-person and addressing the remote students. The campus was visibly, hauntingly empty. Everyone maintained a distance from one another, which while being necessary and important, was very isolating.
I suppose as a silver lining, most of the BU community seems to still be social distancing, and the COVID-19 positive rate has remained low.
Trying to run a university during a pandemic is an unprecedented challenge. It was expected that educational quality would be diminished, and social distancing would create a more isolating environment. Looking back on this first week, I should have been more aware of these necessary sacrifices.
Even so, I ended up disappointed, sad, and lonely. As I write this, I am still disappointed, sad, and lonely. While I know returning to campus was the best possible option for my personal situation, I can’t help but resent our current reality. Perhaps if the federal government implemented stronger social distancing and quarantine guidelines, we wouldn’t still be in this mess. Perhaps my junior year wouldn’t feel so tainted.