Under no circumstances has this been a typical year.
2020 has struck the nation and the world in ways that are insurmountable -- from natural disasters to necessary calls to action for racial justice. All of this resting on the surface of a global coronavirus pandemic--a virus we still don’t know all that much about. It has altered the way we understand our surroundings, our learning, and ourselves.
For Ohio University, this meant most of us were not allowed to return for in-person learning in August. And, on Tuesday, all of us students were notified about whether or not we were eligible to return for Phase 2--spanning the remainder of the fall semester.
While I am actually pleased with the sense of responsibility that the university has upheld by choosing not to allow all students to return to campus, I can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of disappointment and dread.
Don't get me wrong, I was not at all surprised to read the email stating that I, a second-year journalism major, was not eligible to return to campus. But, it was still the sheer acknowledgment of it all: that I will be missing an entire semester of my college experience.
And I think that’s the key term there: the experience. It is not the educational aspect that I am missing so much. (No, I don’t enjoy online classes, but they’re doable.) It is the experience that I am so desperately craving to have.
I miss the actual engagement with my peers within the various programs and publications I am involved in. I have found that my motivation to participate has been clouded by this online format--I feel less of a desire to interact and find myself so distracted by my home surroundings that my ties to my involvements feel so separate.
I miss my friends the most, though. In my first short year at OU, I made a few wonderful friends--my memories with them will stay with me until I can return.
Until I can walk down Court Street, sit in College Green, go to 80s night, eat at Ginger, and sit in my friends’ dorms again.
But until then, I must do my best to remain positive about this unprecedented situation. It will be hard, that is undeniable. But, I have to continue to go with the flow of this insane current. It is out of my control--and, in some, oddly comforting way, it is not affecting just me. It is impacting us all, in one way or another.
So, here’s to five-ish more months of zoom calls, classes in bed, living with parents, and FaceTiming college friends.
It won’t be the same, but it’ll do.