A Light is Appearing



As of this week, it’s been nearly a year since any life was on campus. It feels like yesterday I was washing my hands for what I thought was 20 seconds -- but what was probably well over 30 -- in my dorm bathroom. Almost a year since going on spring break and volunteering at various spots around Washington D.C. and almost a year since tearfully wishing my dorm room and what felt like my first taste of freedom goodbye. 


I’ve struggled with anxiety for a while, which manifested into some pretty extreme hypochondria in the last year. This didn’t mean obsessive hand washing, but feeling incredibly anxious and panicked stepping into a grocery store. Every throat-clearing cough, tickle in my throat, and less than flavorful meal launched me into a panic and left day-to-day living a constant symptom checking nightmare. 


However, for the first time in a really, really long time, I’m feeling some hope. 


Every day for the last month I’ve seen someone new get vaccinated. At first, it was my grandparents and former teachers, but now, it’s friends and younger family. When NC State announced vaccine availability at Talley Student Union, I felt more excited than I have in months, perhaps the entire last year. I am an in-person worker, which means I get some priority in the vaccine lineup. Additionally, getting vaccinated in Talley, a place I’ve longed to be in for months (and popped in for the occasional Howling Cow or nostalgia trip) feels like the exact right place. 


I understand that my personal vaccination will not change much. The rest of my family still has to be vaccinated, and there’s no real “end date” or time where our country has been vaccinated enough to go back to normal life, but I can’t help but fantasize. My friends and I have tentative beach plans, I signed a lease to be on campus next semester, and I just can’t help but see the brightest possible future. If you have the opportunity, I am begging you to get vaccinated. In the words of a newly vaccinated Dolly Parton, “Don’t be such a chicken squat, get out there and get your shot.”