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I am becoming more and more fatigued as the weeks count down ‘til the end of 2020. I’m not trying to garner any pity or use this as some sort of sad diary entry (someone said my first ever article sounded like one), but I think that this year as a whole has been one where I have been disappointing myself in a more traditional sense. 

A lot of the things that I attribute to my self worth have been whittled away into a weird, disfigured version of what it once was. My roommates and I fight like we’re family, on account of cabin fever. The publications that I write for hold Zoom meetings and events that I barely have the energy to go to. The classes that I would normally be excited about now consist of an optional live session and a few recorded lectures that I absorb for three days at best. 

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This is what we’re all feeling, I think. Or I could be the only one. With this all being said, I never really felt like I could fall prey to the proximal symptoms of life in a pandemic. I thought that, as a notoriously busy bee and “content mule” (my mom’s nickname for my writing abilities), my work ethic would get me through all of the stressors of the pandemic. 

I pride myself on these personal attributes, so I felt a really specific sense of shame when I stopped being motivated by the things I love. All I want to do these days is hang out with my mom and eat chips. I’m watching the people around me continue chugging along and I am so envious! I think it’s important to recognize that this isn’t us being lazy in the traditional sense, and I do notice that people address this on social media sometimes. It does not make sense for people to be functioning at the same levels as they would on a normal year. Do not hold yourself to those standards.

[bf_image id="gzjhkp8jmsqzpg8pt7m458ps"] I’m also writing all of this in lieu of the impending holiday season. Whether you’re staying at school or headed home, you’re going to get a lot of questions about your productivity and accomplishments. I want to let everyone know that it’s okay to confess your unproductivity. I did, and it was actually slightly rewarding. It was a breath of fresh air compared to my usual line: “Online school is hard but I’m getting through it.” And if there are people around you who are productive, that’s okay too! People adapt to situations differently. 

Hopefully the rest of the year will treat us all kindly. Stay strong, friends. 


Isabella is studying History and English at the University of California, Davis. She is currently a second-year student trying to navigate the tumultuous world of online learning. She enjoys watching horror movies, playing Trivial Pursuit, and trying to master the art of a good banana bread. Her career aspirations range somewhere between the field of journalism and academia, but she's still trying to figure it out (as we all are).
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