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How Was My First Semester 100% Online During Quarantine

 

I was never a popular person at school. However, I was never an antisocial either. The problem is that we are used to consume movies which regularly adopt stereotypes to portray some realities –  such as the cliche “nerd-girl-and-popular-boy-fall-in-love” –, but the truth is: the majority of students inside any universitary environment are in some middle place not defined yet between these two extremes. And I am one of them. Sorry, guys who love to open the camera in class or interact inside millions of college groups, because today I will not talk to you. If you are like me (like the average) and was completely lost in eternal loopings of good connections, the “necessity to create networking” drama, feeling an outsider for not understanding any inside joke and at the same time wanting to be part of something new, know that I see you and this text too.

The initial (and obvious) problem was quarantine. Whether we could discuss this in another situation –  the one that I would crowd with fifty classmates and drink a beer with them – , I would say that my heart was open to make new friendships. Although, I was leaving my school with only two friends that survived after senior year and the lack of conviviality, no graduation with emotional speeches and a totally pessimistic view of the next year. Yes, my existence was summarized as a mood killer. This combo made me a little bit sarcastic with all initially possible communication trials and the doubts started to appear. Is this course really for me? Do these people are cool and I am the problem? Why is everyone already doing university things if we didn’t have any class about it yet? Am I supposed to do it too? 

All I am saying may seem very particular from my own experience, but self-sabotage and insecurity were aspects amplified by total isolation on everyone. In social media, contents representing students sleeping during classes right after they have promessed themselves to pay attention became viral –  because it is real. Comfort made us lazy and having our beds next to desk is quite the same as knowing you have candy waiting for you in the fridge: both whisper in our ears searching for the delivery of our souls.

Woman Sitting on Chair While Leaning on Laptop
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

There is a famous phrase which says: “Work with what you love and you will never work one day in your life”. Being very clear now, I think believing that you will always be content because you feel connected to what you are doing, is a huge mistake, since obligations are boring and tiring. Thus, thinking that studying things you have affinity with are amazing all the time is a cute delusion that has been destroyed by infinite works, tests and a constant mental charge of finding an internship –  and we are still in fourth month. 

Before you leave here thinking university life sucks, stay a little longer, since the good part is about to start. I entered college with a mindset that pushed me away from people that were only doing their best to deal with the same online problems that quarantine gave to all of us. And, as karma is real and the universe likes to frequently change our thoughts, I was caught opening my camera in group meetings and interacting with those who I initially misjudged –  not because I needed to, but because their internal jokes were actually quite funny! I found people that became friends that I love. A feeling constructed by an admiration nourished with the way they were committed and enchanted to things that we shared –  words, music, communication. In a totally new way to make friends, I can say that comfort zone is overrated and pajamas can be a really good subject to start a conversation (do not let it be an impediment). 

Eduarda Ventura, student that decided to do her first semester in two universities, in order to be able to choose having the best and worst from both institutions, said she doesn’t want to “romanticize” her experience since “the reasons that led us to do this first semester on-line are terrible and sad”. However, she doesn’t know yet how it will be in person, so, Eduarda tries to enjoy the different circumstances. “As a form of self-protection, I maintain myself optimistic about my experience. And it has been really good”. For example, she could spend more time dedicating herself in these universities because the format of the classes were on-line and she didn’t have the locomotion problem. 

Talking about people she knew, she tells that: “It’s funny because the first person that I constructed a friendship with said to me that ‘we don’t go to college to make friends’ and I tried really hard to put this in my head, but it didn’t work. Actually, this is an essential part of our experience. It was really important to me, especially having someone to share a disappointment of the fact we can’t meet in person to live this in a more genuine way.” 

Now, an advice for you that saw a pretty person or listened to a hot voice during online classes: flirting is good for the soul. Really. Sometimes, we give up calling someone in reason of shyness, but the good thing on the internet when you are not an attitude person is that you do not need to be there. Just send the message and hide your head under the pillow. We are social animals and, in situations like that, it is cool having someone that makes your heart beat faster because you do not know what is coming. Ok, I sound just like a totally romantic girl (which it is not the case) but, well, quarantine side effects.  

As you just read, I passed through a lot of phases during my first six months being a college student –  and not everything was easy or good. This is not just a report about how my semester was completely online, though. It is a love letter to all people that made part of this moment so important of a new beginning. Better days are coming and I can’t wait to see us together. Stay safe. Until the upcoming semester.

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The article above was edited by Gabriela Sartorato.  

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Maria Edhuarda Castro

Casper Libero '21

Journalism student In love with words, dance and all kinds of beauty
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