I don’t think my brain was scrambled this year, but I definitely feel like it was cooked over easy (okay that was lame but that’s fine).
It’s frankly a little jarring to know and think about the fact that I’m halfway done with being an undergrad student. There’s something to be said for having made it through half of what culturally keeps being mentioned as the “best years of your life” when you both a) find that kind of absurd, but also b) recognize that over 1/4th of those years was spent on Zoom. Even if I never really believed that college was going to be the best part of my life (the goal in HS and still today is to peak in my 60s), I still came into college with some sort of vision for how college was going to magically transform everything about the way I lived my life.
I’m sitting back at home in the Bay, around 36 hours removed from having submitted my last final as a second-year, and I’m still too exhausted to allow myself to reflect on everything that’s happened in the last year. The reading period we all had grown accustomed to was gone, the quarters got shortened by a week, and I was stuck with completely remote classes for a year. But given the circumstances of the last year, it feels as though the cruelty of university policies stands as merely the cherry to top off the constant presence of grief. Grieving about state violence, grieving about the lives lost in this pandemic, grieving about the isolation and time lost spending with those we care about.
In the time I’ve given myself to just briefly think about how the last year has gone, the first thing that has come to mind has not been relief, but rather trying to interrogate why I don’t feel that sense of euphoria I should have when I wrapped things up for the year. I’m always a damn broken record whenever I come out of a quarter feeling both dejected and annoyed at how I’ve failed to both be as organized as I know I can be and recognize the expectations the institutions I work in are unjust. I also very much recognize that at times some of the personal comments or just onslaught of criticisms that I have about college or about anything feel pointless. That constant cycle of waking up, going to stare at my computer for hours, eat maybe, shower, take some care of myself, and then…