Pictures from Heritage Fountain

Florida State University, I Miss You

About two months ago, I had a fortune cookie with the following fortune inside: “You will have good luck in your personal affairs this month.” It stuck with me, like some part of my brain knew that this little piece of paper meant something.

I’m not typically the kind of person that believes in those types of things. Fortune cookies, horoscopes. They’re fun to read, and, usually, I try not to put too much thought into them because then they’ll start to run my life. But I don’t know. There’s a part of me that always tries to search for meaning in everything, and this fortune felt like a lifeline. So, I kept it and taped it into my journal above an entry that begins, “Oftentimes I forget to count my blessings.”

Two months and half a semester moved online later, here I am. Counting my blessings.

My fortune cookie rang true, if I do say so myself. I joined the Her Campus staff. I was chosen to be the Recruitment Chair for FSU Homecoming this fall, a decision that came out very shortly after I opened the fortune. I’ve met so many new people in this half-semester alone, all of whom are scattered throughout my brain as I sit in my room four hours away from Florida State and think about all the things I miss.

Oh, but what do I miss? I miss going to room 203 in the Student Services Building for AASU meetings. I miss staying up until two in the morning at various places in Landis Hall—the ARC study room, the lounge on the second floor. I miss walking across the Green and watching the rainbows of colored hammocks and picnic blankets. I miss taking trips to CVS late at night, 15 minutes before a class that’s in the other direction or in the middle of the day when there’s nothing else to do. I miss crowding that one booth next to Tally Mac Shack on a Sunday night, filling 1851 with the sound of laughter so loud I’m surprised we were never kicked out. I miss late Saturday mornings when the campus is still asleep, when it feels like the entire world is taking a quiet breath for just a moment before the skateboards and spike ball are back out.

Sunset at FSU

So, if it weren’t already glaringly obvious, social distancing in the face of COVID-19 has been really difficult for me. I don’t learn well online. I feel trapped in my hometown. I miss my friends. I’m constantly thinking about all the ways that we live our lives being fundamentally altered by the threat of a global pandemic; I think about the pressure our healthcare system is under, I think about the failing economy and I think about the corruption in Capitol Hill that possessed our lawmakers to dump millions of dollars in stock instead of mobilizing to save thousands of people across the country.

I guess social distancing efforts have allowed me to reflect on these little moments I’ve found myself in over the past few months. It’s so easy to get caught up in the news. It’s so easy to worry endlessly about the health of ourselves and of our family, friends and neighbors. It’s easy to fall into the rabbit hole of wondering how we could ever possibly come out of this on the other side and wondering when we do, how many people will we have lost? How many moments will we have missed?

I don’t know how this will end. But I know that it will. We are not meant to live like this. We are not meant to live apart from each other scouring our empty grocery stores and stockpiling toilet paper. We are not meant to be drowned in fear and anxiety, plagued by questions of “What if?”

We are meant to be part of each other’s lives and to share our happiness with each other. We’re supposed to laugh together, cry together and laugh together again. We’re supposed to be soundboards for each other to vent at, and we’re supposed to get too many chips at Chili’s together. We’re supposed to celebrate our birthdays together, walk home together, hug each other goodbye and tell each other, “See you on Tuesday!”

We are meant to do all of this and more, and we are meant to do it in the company of those we love.

This is me counting my blessings. I’m thankful that this is only my freshman year and that I’ll have so much more time to share these moments with those I care about. I’m thankful that I’m young and healthy. I’m thankful that humanity will persevere, and that humanity will come out on top. I’m thankful that I have something to miss in the first place and that I have something to want to go back to.

This is also me asking you all to stay home. Social distance for your loved ones and social distance for the world. Social distance for the moments you can’t wait to be part of again.

So, to my sweet, sweet friends and my sweet, sweet Florida State: I’m counting down the days until I get back to you. Until then—please, for the love of all that is holy, stay inside and wash your hands!

Me on my FSU tour

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