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After over a year of living the majority of my life from behind my laptop screen, I should be excited about getting my second vaccine next week. Life will begin again! I’ll get to see my friends inside without stress! Maybe I’ll even dine indoors– what a concept! I certainly am looking forward to all of these things, but something in me is nervous to be too optimistic. I’m so used to daily news headlines smothering any excitement I have for living a “normal” life again that the feeling of optimism has become almost foreign to me. And I’m not quite sure how to navigate it. 

The risk of Covid variants is still circulating, and the CDC warned us just days ago of an “impending doom” to prepare for amid COVID-19 spikes in some parts of the country. However, with new data suggesting vaccines will likely stand up against the new variants, I think it’s safe to say we’re looking at a promising future ahead. The buzzing excitement around summertime in the city is making me giddy to return, and I can’t wait to spend my senior year in in-person classes on campus. That being said, the uncertainty that was the coronavirus pandemic is now the uncertainty of what our new normal will become. The more I think about it, the more I question whether I even remember how to live my old life; am I still good at chatting up new classmates? Socializing at parties? Navigating the subway system? After a year of life in pseudo-isolation, will I still enjoy these things? 

And what about the virtual experiences we don’t know how to navigate in-person? If any of you have been following my summer internship series, you’ll know I have learned all of my networking and interviewing skills in an online environment, and I admittedly have no clue how I’m going to bring these skills to an in-person space. Coffee chats with my dog in my lap and meetings from my couch swaddled in a cozy throw blanket will become commutes to a coffee shop or office in more presentable attire (and shoes! Another concept!), and I don’t know if I’m mentally prepared for that. 

There’s only one way to approach these uncertainties, and that is to live through them. Our impending new normal is as scary as it is thrilling, and if any of you feel the same way I do, I hope we can let ourselves be excited about our post-vaccination futures. I remain cautiously optimistic for now, but I have to admit: for the first time in a year, I am looking forward to what the world has to offer. 

 

Sabrina is a third-year student at Parsons School of Design studying Strategic Design and Management. She enjoys writing about beauty, lifestyle, and fashion, obviously. When she's not catching up with friends over a cappuccino, she's probably journaling or cutting up old magazines for her latest collage.