This Is Only The Beginning For You

I have trouble coming to terms with uncertainty. This is nothing new for me, ever since I was a kid I haven’t liked not knowing what was going on. I’m not a “go with the flow” kind of person, I like control. Life has been fairly normal for me until now; our ideas and notions of normal are being uprooted in the face of a worldwide crisis.

World closed sign

No one can say what is coming next. This trip around the sun is unlike any our generation has taken. The coronavirus and isolation will shape us, this moment in time is molding us into the leaders and creatives and change-makers we will become. 

Speaking candidly, I don’t think I will ever jump in Lane Stadium as an undergraduate again or walk across the Drillfield to get to class or try to find a seat in Turner at noon or go to the farmer’s market on a spring Saturday morning or go on 2 AM rounds as an RA. The coronavirus has put my final fall semester at Virginia Tech in jeopardy after stealing my last spring in Blacksburg. And as more universities brace for closures during the fall semester or remaining online, I can’t ignore the fact that I might be facing a similar fate.  

I want to be wrong so badly. I’m not ready to be finished with that chapter of my life yet. College has given me my best friends, seen me through heartbreak, been the background for moments I will never forget, and radically shaped who I am and who I will become for the better. Virginia Tech is home. So of course, I hope I am wrong and will be back in the pace of things, in the life that I created for myself in Blacksburg this fall.

Celina Timmerman-Fun Poloroids

I can’t bet all I have on that though, we live in a time where the only certain thing is that we don’t know when or if life will ever go back to the way it was. Growing overwhelmed and having negative feelings is a common sentiment. We grew up being told our 20’s were supposed the time we had everything at our fingertips, the years of wild possibility. And now we’re sitting in our childhood bedrooms, taking classes online, FaceTiming friends, and wondering what will happen next. 

 

This is only the beginning for you.

I repeat this phrase to myself for reassurance, especially in the world we live in now. So much of my college career seems to be over. And it’s okay to be sad. Grieve and feel all your feelings, don’t hold it in and let it consume you. 

Know that this is not the end. There will be more nights with your best friends, moments that push you, trips to go on, wonders to see, people to know and love, opportunities to seize, chances to take, and laughs to share. College was never your be all end all. It has been a step that moves you forward to a career, a new city, more independence, relationships to create and grow in, and greater opportunities to know yourself and live the life you want to live. COVID-19 can take from us, but it doesn’t have to define us.