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Today, many aspects of our daily lives look similar to those of March 2020. We are once again students at Zoom University, we mask up when we’re around others, and we continue to be disappointed each time an in-person event gets postponed further. However, after almost two years since the initial lockdown began, there are aspects of our lives that differ, for the better. 

Now, we have come to terms with the fact that our college experiences do not look like what any of us had anticipated. I remember in March of 2020 when we were finding out that we would have (what we thought would be) one whole quarter online. I was devastated. I was pre-mourning all of the experiences I would miss by being online during the Spring quarter of my second year. Little did I know there would be at least several more quarters online to come. I don’t know if I’ve yet fully accepted that over half of my college career looks different than what I would’ve liked. But realizing that I have still learned and grown as a student and a person while college-distancing has disproved my past 2020 self’s thoughts that her college experience was ruined. 

This time around, many of us may experience greater peace of mind surrounding the pandemic. Unlike two years ago, now we are vaccinated and boosted, and as UC Davis students, we are fortunate to have testing readily available to us. This sense of safety that we now have allows us to more easily ride the waves of uncertainty regarding what school and life look like for us. We also know that Zoom University and staying home, despite how much we dislike it, is doable. In March 2020, I couldn’t conceive of getting a college education online that would be as fulfilling as doing it in person. I would have loved to have experienced the wonderful professors I had last year in person, but I loved my classes last year, and I feel like I learned so much despite learning through Zoom.  Finding out that we would be on Zoom for longer in this quarter became a much easier pill to swallow. 

One way my January 2022 differs from March 2020 for me is that I am in Davis, rather than at home. In Davis, I live with my best friends. Although I love my family and I am glad I got to spend more time with them during the initial lockdown, I am grateful that this time around, I get to spend plenty of time with my besties. So far, during this quarter, we’ve spent time making charcuterie boards, playing card games, and simply talking for hours on end. 

It comes from a place of privilege to know that the hardest aspect of pandemic life is that I’ve missed out on in-person experiences. However, it is important to allow ourselves room to grieve the college experiences that we could’ve had, in addition to finding the silver linings of distance learning and living. My biggest silver lining was getting to spend the last year of my dog’s life with her. When I remember that, I am able to take a breath, and come to the poignant realization that it’s okay that this winter quarter doesn’t look like what we expected it to, because a lot of the time, life doesn’t look like what we expect it to.

Miranda is a fourth year linguistics major. She enjoys playing sudoku, roller skating, and brie.
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