Classes are over. As much as I’d love to shut down and breathe a huge sigh of relief, I still need to make it through finals. Fall semester 2020 has not been kind to me or anyone I know. Despite being back on Long Island for the semester, I ultimately opted to take all of my classes remote, only going to campus for class maybe once a week for a professor who required it. Being back in New York with my friends and boyfriend was definitely an upgrade from being in my hometown taking classes with a three hour time difference last spring, but these last few months have not been the easiest.
I took 13 credits this semester plus a two credit internship, I hold positions in almost every campus organization I’m involved with and took on a fellowship position with Hofstra’s Center for Civic Engagement. As busy and as tired as I’ve been this semester, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I’d obviously love to be able to actually intern in New York City or see my friends from clubs more frequently, but I still got a lot out of the virtual work I’ve done.
I’m grateful for the opportunities I had this semester despite the state of everything, but it still wasn’t easy. Long weekends were missed dearly. It would be a long trek through a week followed by the weekend that always came and went too fast. I see how a condensed schedule to limit people’s ability to travel was necessary, but having next to no time off was not ideal. Burn out was inevitable.
More long days on Zoom are not something I’m looking forward to next semester. Most days, I would start at 9 and go till 5 doing classes or interning with a couple hour breaks, and then I would have meetings for other commitments from around 6-9 depending on the day. In non-COVID times, I’d fill the gaps in my day by catching up on work at Starbucks or meeting up with friends. Now, I really only leave my room during the week to cook. Sitting in front of my computer for hours on end made my body feel like trash and by the end of the day I wanted to do nothing but lay in bed for hours before I’d fall asleep. This desk to bed routine isn’t something I’d love to repeat next semester, so I am hoping to have a bit more free time.
A hybrid semester made the most sense to keep people safe, but it definitely took a toll on my (and other’s) mental health. The semester never felt like it slowed down, and ending right before Thanksgiving felt weirdly unsatisfactory. Everything felt extremely rushed from the start of the semester right to the end, and I am having trouble comprehending that I still have finals to focus on. This semester has been nothing short of exhausting, but I guess that comes with the nature of trying to operate somewhat normally amidst a now worsening pandemic. I’m hoping at least some of spring semester will have some air of normalcy, but only time will tell.