Somehow, three weeks of the quarter have already gone by and I feel like I’m just settling into being a student again.
This is the second go at schooling online and somehow it feels almost as challenging as the first time through. I do appreciate the privilege to be back in Chicago again, to be back around some sort of campus. Yet it almost defeats the purpose once you learn it’s fairly difficult to reserve good timeslots in the libraries to study, much less have the same access to other random spaces to just learn. And after what seems like a brief period, we’ve made it through a third of the quarter and almost all the time let before Thanksgiving.
What initially seemed like a challenge in finding a means to continue to be an engaged student has now become quite the test against the weather to find some sort of life habits that prioritize both my well-being and pursuing the types of learning I want to do. We’re back to the mundane routine of waking up, going in front of our computers for hours on end for discussions, then some time to eat, then back at it for the rest of the day. And yes, there’s no doubt about that routine being a lot less repetitive by at least being around campus, with amazing roommates. But this is just what life is now.
I also join this reality with the fact this pandemic isn’t ending anytime soon and instead appears to still be reaching its highest point. And that makes me sad. I don’t think we’re given a chance to evaluate the implications of all this distance from people. We realized this once we got through the start of spring quarter going remote, but somehow, we’re told just to get things back to normal. I still don’t think I’ve ever really given myself the chance to just sit with the horror of over 200 thousand people losing their lives and thousands more whose lives have been permanently destroyed by this virus. All the while, it’s midterm season and I need to figure out how to buckle down to push through.
I think it’s depressing in the way that we all sort of bonded around this difficult time, but I am more focused on ensuring to make the most of this time. It’s brought out a new form of solidarity that I didn’t know could have been possible, and even when I can’t be in physical spaces with many people I care about, I know that’s something I’m willing to do to keep everyone safe. Whether that’s continuing to work outside with my friends, discovering successful habits to be excited about, I think I’m at least for now adjusting to college that’s both remote in Chicago. It’s time just to come to terms with this new reality in college.
Being Noah Tesfaye #153: So This is Just How School is Now
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