By STORMIE SANCHEZ
Like many students who suffered through the sudden shift to remote learning over the spring and summer semesters, I thought I wanted to come back to campus, but now that I’m here I just want to go home.
All of the things that make taking classes on campus unique and worthwhile have been stripped away, leaving a bare-bones college experience. What’s left is a day to day, just similar enough to previous semesters to make me long for what was, like a ghost lingering to torture those it left behind.
I’m going to talk about the biggest elephant in the room: social events. I’m not the type of person who will walk up to strangers and initiate conversation, but I always looked forward to the social activities put on by various organizations throughout the year, especially if food was involved. Gone are the days of standing in line for Sharkey’s at Fallfest. You really don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.
In-person class has become a chore. Between the incomprehensible rotating schedules, the rules people only half-follow and the almost constant string of technical issues that seem to take up a large chunk of the very precious face time we ARE allowed, I am fed up.
The cute jokes about being able to find parking are losing their luster, and I’d rather save the gas money if I can be perfectly honest.
Then there are the little things. Why do I feel like a pariah every time I need to cough? Even if no one shoots me a death glare, I’m filled with dread every time I feel a creeping cough or sneeze.
Desperately I reach for water … but wait … there is no water! We can’t use water fountains and I’m terrified to touch the vending machine because who knows the last time THAT was disinfected.
Health apps everywhere are rejoicing at the sudden rise in stair usage. Nothing makes me cringe more than the idea of riding in an elevator these days. I stepped in one out of habit, looked at the buttons and quickly chose the staircase instead. This idea, however, is not original and stair traffic is on the rise, making me feel helpless in my fight against germs.
I’m not naive. I know that the college is doing everything it can to keep us safe AND make us happy. I know that going back to normal right now isn’t possible, and very well might not ever be possible again. I’m yearning for days past. Mourning the death of the college experience I had fallen in love with.And like all heartbreak, this wound is going to take some time to heal.