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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

A few weeks ago I found myself sitting in the corner of a hot classroom at nine in the morning, listening to my professor scold the class. The cohort as a whole hadn’t performed well on our last lab report, so naturally, he was disappointed. He claimed we were lazy and caught in a “COVID hangover.” Students weren’t able to work anymore, we couldn’t study, we had forgotten. And it wasn’t just his classroom, but my entire college, and frankly the University as a whole.

Naturally, my classmates and myself were offended at first. Who was he to try to tell us how to live through college? He had never been in our shoes, he had never experienced Zoom University. Being in school right now was unprecedented, and no one could understand it better than students.

But the longer I thought, the longer I realized that he was right. We were caught in a hangover, and we were lazy. Though I don’t necessarily think it’s our fault. Over a year ago, we were forced out of our classrooms and sent to learn in our beds. We were pitied, and teachers were unmotivated. Exams became open note, expectations were lowered, and grades were higher. Then when we are thrown back into the mix of real-life school, our brains were not able to adjust quickly enough. We’ve forgotten how to study and how to stay motivated. Our bodies are drunk on the thought of class in bed, and it has become difficult to force ourselves out in the morning. It’s no longer muscle memory to wake up early enough to get dressed and get to a physical classroom. We’ve grown used to rolling over, turning on our computers, and vaguely tuning in. Of course we aren’t doing as well.

It seems so far-fetched to think that two school years ago we were motivated and able to do it all. But the thing is, we’re still capable, just a little rusty. It took years and years of school to get into the swing of things. It took applications, studying, and practice to get into college. So it’s only a matter of time before the dust brushes off and the gears start turning again.

Whether you choose to believe it or not, we’re all living the same truth right now. School sucks, and we don’t really remember how to be good students. But the cool thing about years and years of practice is that your memory and work ethic is bound to come back after a little while of reminding yourself how far you’ve come and how far you’re still able to go. 

Hannah is currently a Fisheries & Wildlife major pursuing a certificate in Environmental Education. When she's not writing for Her Campus, she can usually be found watching TikToks or looking at animals somewhere.
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