Summer of Solitude

Before we all found ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic, most of us presumably had different summer plans. Personally, I was supposed to explore the world through work and study while enhancing my language skills in multicultural company. Indeed, I had envisioned a summer filled with meaningful relationships, a flourishing social life providing both heartfelt laughter and intellectual stimulation. It saddens me that the coronavirus deprived me of that possibility, as petty a problem as it is in the scheme of things. For me, however, this unanticipated turn signifies lost opportunities that I can never recapture in full.

Furthermore, I associated the upcoming summer with the relief that comes with finishing one’s studies. For an inordinately long time I have dreamt about life after graduation, more specifically the immediate get-away that would momentarily bring an end to my solitary existence. Although the situation has significantly changed, I still expect to feel a certain level of pride after I have submitted my thesis. This is particularly true now that the writing process has become increasingly anxiety-inducing after a global crisis forced me to change my routines. Considering my personal struggles, I indeed look forward to the sentiments of relief and liberation. Nevertheless, there will surely be plenty of second-guessing regarding the final product, an inability to read the work afterwards.

Despite my distress and disappointment in the face of unfulfilled dreams, social isolation can have considerable advantages to my mental health as well. As an introvert, I’m certainly eager to have time for myself devoid of academic obligations. In fact, I long for solitary activities such as watching documentaries and reading novels. Moreover, I’m going to familiarize myself with audiobooks as well as take long walks in places I have not visited before. Physical exercise is already instrumental to my well-being and will continue to keep me sane. These invigorating pastimes provide a needed counterbalance to a burdensome writing endeavor; however, I also need a proper vacation that actually has a restoring impact. Come what may, I expect the looming summer to entail loneliness that does not fill me with desperation, however. In fact, melancholy has a tendency to render my life more nuanced, animated and thus authentic.