It is a weird feeling to be nostalgic for a time you weren’t even alive for. I look through my parents’ photo albums showcasing their college memories and long for an experience that has not been my own. The old photos of my dad drinking from a keg at his fraternity seem so unfamiliar, as the thought of sipping out of someone’s drink today makes me shudder.
It saddens me that COVID-19 took away almost two years of my college experience. I never thought that sitting in a lecture hall would be my most fervent wish.
However, while my college experience so far has not been what you see in the movies, I am still incredibly lucky to have a college experience at all. I keep reminding myself that I am living in a unique time full of scientific breakthroughs. I am privileged enough to gain my education through a screen, and though it is not ideal, I am living in what my future kids will read about in their history books.
Life is slowly but surely heading back to normal. If anything, this pandemic has made me more appreciative of the little things in life — no matter how cliche that may be. I have gotten outside more and have become grateful for my daily dose of vitamin D. Spending days locked in my house with my siblings turned into some of my greatest memories of the last year.
Now, I have to remind myself and my readers: it is okay that college so far has been a whirlwind and it is okay to long for life before COVID. It is okay to feel burnt out from staring at a screen and to yearn for socialization. I am not going to sugarcoat it: life in the pandemic has been difficult. However, we have made it a whole year since the world went on lockdown.
We must cherish the very fact that we get to see another day. The best is yet to come and we have so much life left to live. I mean, nobody besides college kids today can say that they have to take a proctored exam over Zoom.
The picture-perfect college experience seems overrated anyway. At least ours has been full of surprises.