It feels like forever ago since I had a break from school and adjusted to quarantine life and everything. Out of all the stressful experiences I have had at Cornell, this was one of, if not the top most stressful things I have experience in college, so I can't even begin to imagine what this experience was like for peers that hold less socio-economic privilege than I, or my colleagues that have while literally had all hell break loose.
I felt very hopeless and defeated throughout this experience. I make a pledge to put my education about all else in my life in an attempt to preserve my academics and not give myself permission to fail. That choice made this semester so much more burdensome and lonely than it had to be for me. I remember stress-crying about the "unusually high averages" in my classes, and being afraid that i didn't compare. I had a lot of panicked, sleepless nights, just with school.
So when I turned in my last final, I felt a bit better about my life. Still very stressed, but not so much about school anymore. All of the extracurriculars where I wasn't allowed to be done with until August or given the space to be "done with," came back to bite me in the butt with undone work. Additionally, I need to think about future internships and prospects and courses and academic calendars and it's taking a toll on me.
I'm overwhelmed. I'm unmotivated. I'm stressed. I'm scared. I'm going insane.
And I'm sad that I won't be able to move into my apartment in Ithaca, for which the lease starts on June 1st, due to both the situation and parental concerns, as well as uncertainty about the semester. I didn't get to do the internship with Discovery that I was looking forward too. It's hard for me to enjoy coming of age---I feel powerless.
And I think that's okay. I admit I feel burned out. And I give myself permission to feel that way. I give myself permission to not do a darn thing, because this pandemic hits people differently and having more time at home in some of our cases (bless essential workers everywhere) does not mean that you have to do anything. But I also am trying to be grateful. I'm trying to look for some good, even when I have to admit I don't personally see or believe in any.
I have my family. I have my health, I have a home, I have summer projects that I can take on, I have merch, I have an internship with a startup. I'll be okay. But so many people don't know if they will be okay, or what their futures and opportunities will look like in the future. In a world of online meetings and social distancing, the impact devastates many vulnerable groups in ways very few of us will ever be able imagine. And so many of us have unusual time on our hands that we can use for good. For me, the work I'm doing in the startup and other projects in my life do good. What do you do to do good in a time like this?
What do you do to just be and live, from a distance, while we all isolate in honor of the hope to connect physically in the future?