A year ago today I would have been rushing through the rain-soaked grass of the quad while looking over last night’s notes on my phone. I would have barely made it on time, but despite being half-asleep, I was always excited about what the day would bring.
There was never a dull moment; whether it was my professor nearly dropping a beaker or having to act out a scene from a Spanish drama.
I was focused on the present, knowing that every day was a story waiting to be told.
But with the introduction of Zoom, I felt as if it was all stripped away.
Without a proper goodbye, I was left with the bare bones of what used to be my Emory experience. And here I was, at the start of a new semester, mourning the loss of my sophomore year.
I refused to look forward, adapt, and start anew. In my mind, I was still heartbroken, so I just put myself in autopilot, submitting each assignment with the basic knowledge I had from zoom lectures. It didn’t hit me until the work began to creep up on me. Assignments that I lost track of evolved from minor headaches to full-blown all-nighters.
On my bed with cups of coffee, I would furiously type away and curse Zoom University into the early morning hours.
And in one of those, I took a long break to reflect and let reality sink in.
At 3 a.m. I realized..
I needed to stop romanticizing the past
I have to relearn what it meant to be productive
I must adapt and keep going
I have to stop isolating myself
Most importantly, I need a break
This is a time of uncertainty but not for self-sabotage. It’s easy to lose focus and get stuck in the past. But if I had the chance to start over again, I would go into Zoom University with the mindset that this is the time to revisit my goals.
Now it’s a matter of figuring out what I needed from this new Emory experience. Along with readjusting my career path, I realized that I needed to take a deep breath and just find the humor in all of this. Whether the key is actively listening to my professor’s wild stories or hosting Zoom parties, I focus on just enjoying the little things of college life and knowing that one day, Zoom University will just be a memory.