Why Living On Campus During The Pandemic Turned Out To Be Inspiring

My hopes weren’t high when I moved onto campus back in August. I remember thinking back to freshman year move-in and how scared I was then. Even so, there was something much scarier about moving back to a major city during a pandemic. 

My freshman year was short. I had a rough first semester, so most of my friendship-making happened during those six short weeks before COVID-19 took over our lives. I had some great connections with a small group of friends and even found my roommate in early spring. But as a 4-week quarantine stretched into months, it was clear that the fall semester would look nothing like the previous year. My roommate told me she had to stay home, along with a handful of other friends. I was in a brownstone single and thought I’d move back home within a week. I also didn’t have too much hope for how long we’d actually be on campus.

woman on bed with coffee Photo by Kinga Cichewicz from Unsplash

However, things soon turned out better than I could have imagined. Despite all the challenges, I formed my bubble of friends and had a relatively good semester. 

The turnaround happened after I started meeting in person with the people I had been doing Zoom parties with all summer. It was so exciting to be with these people and not through a screen. When the weather was warm, it was picnic after picnic. And when the cold set in it became long walks in big coats and 6-feet-apart indoor hangouts. With a small group of friends, I was able to feel like things were fine in the world. When I stepped back outside with a mask on, I felt less afraid of the future.

Pille-Riin Priske via Unsplash

I used to worry every day about when things would go back to normal. When would I be able to do theatre again? When would I hang out with more than 5 friends at a time? Now, however, I think about where I am in the moment. I think about the people I hang out with, who I’m closer with now than ever before, the theatrical endeavors I’ve been able to undertake without an audience to perform for, and the endless laughs I’ve shared this semester.

I couldn’t have imagined back in August that I’d be upset to leave a pandemic-era campus. Now, five days before I drive back to New York, I feel a little sad. The friendships I’ve strengthened this semester have changed my take on the pandemic. I used to think that it could only separate people, but I now see it as a force to bring people together.

When I started school, I was obsessed with the idea of making friends. I mean, that’s a huge part of college! Through my anxiety, I struggled to see behind the veil that was telling me I was alone. The pandemic helped lift this veil a bit, and I now see that I have people I love and trust and that I want to be in my life for a long, long time. 

All in all, I wish I had a little more time on campus this semester. I want to hang out more with the friends I’ve made, and I want more time to hone into my craft and what I love! We didn’t get sent home, and despite all the motivational and outward stressors, I had my first semester of college where I felt like BU was home.

Want to keep up with HCBU? Make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, check out our Pinterest board, and read our latest Tweets!