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Bright College years, with pleasure rife,

The shortest, gladdest years of life;

How swiftly are ye gliding by!

Oh, why doth time so quickly fly?

For all of us studying during the pandemic, the traditional lyrics have never held so true. It seems as if time is slipping by all too quickly. The last time I was on campus I was a tired sophomore and now I am suddenly and abruptly a jaded junior.

This pandemic has stolen many aspects of our lives. For some it has been loved ones, physical and mental health, career opportunities, and other serious matters. The world we knew was halted overnight and it has been difficult to embrace new ‘normals’.

I, for one, have woken up in the middle of the night terrorized by nightmares of zombies tearing into the skin of my loved ones and I. According to some interpretations, dreaming of zombies means you are afraid of unknown situations in your life. A pandemic could not be more unknowable. Melodramatic, I know, but at least a zombie would be a tangible foe to fear. Instead we are left to deal with an invisible enemy and widespread denial.

While I ache for the health and economic welfare of millions, I also ache for the youth and Bright College years we were promised. The trivial pursuits of a college experience are to be missed as part of our social development.

If anything, it’s the small details that make life. I miss running into acquaintances and having inconsequential conversations. I miss dashing into Durfee’s, right before 2:30pm, when the masses of students would converge inside for chicken tenders. I miss running to class and barely making it into a seat before lecture begins. I miss -- I miss everything.

My junior year has so far taken place in my childhood bedroom. It seems as if I took five steps forward and four steps back. Home still fits but like pants you can’t zip.

Being enrolled remotely feels like being a college student in name only. It’s even harder when familial responsibilities clash with academic duties. Who am I a first? Eldest daughter or Yale Junior? In the end, I suppose I am both and neither. My desires and interests are too broad to be neatly packaged, but this circumstance has taught me to be more assertive in what I want. If you take anything away from reading this let it be to go after the tiny meaningful moments. Sing badly with friends in an empty lecture hall, play drunken basketball, ask the pretty girl out, be bold and make connections! 

Spring semester will be different from last year’s, certainly, but I will make the most out of it. What is now, but not short and gleefully fleeting?

I’m a double major in Political Science and Film and Media Studies ‘YC 22.
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