After this week, I have realized that I not only have cabin fever, but I also long for a summer vacation of some sorts. At this point., I have accepted that the summer I had once imagined is now gone----it's indoor activities instead of outdoor adventures and internships. I don't know if I'll even be able to move into my school apartment early in the summer like I planned. While I do admit I am disappointed about that (not just because I had to pay the first month of rent and deposit early to sign the lease, I really wanted to move in), I've come to terms with that, in fact I've already thought of a bunch of the cool things that I get a chance to do while inside. In a way though, being excited about the idea of summer is what is keeping me excited enough to finish the year out strong.
As I prepare for a second round of my "prelim" exams (which will effectively determine the range of possibilities for my final semester grades), I'm focusing on making sure that I am in the best shape possible to do well. I have sacrificed free time, side projects and socializing in the process, which is incredibly hard to do with so many home distractions and temptations to not do work, but I am trying to focus as though I were still in Ithaca finishing out the semester.
I, like some my peers, don't love the whole "college at home" situation for reasons that I've listed (i.s. too many distractions). But unlike some of the people that I've talked to, I don't hate it because of the working and going to lectures online so much, although not ideal. I don't like it because if feels like I'm constantly working with the same heavy workload as usual, but now instead of a library or somewhere that I can easily get it's at a corner desk in my room for hours on end. I'm still making the most of it though, and I think I feel more grateful for the in-person college experience now. I love home and I love my college education, but I love them separately----doing it from home just isn't for me personally.
That very topic of not getting the in-person college experience is something that I have seen pop up on all of my social media and even more popular media. I have very mixed feelings on the topic. On the one hand, I resonate with the feeling of not receiving the full in person experience that was paid for, and wanting some kind of compensation/reparations for that loss of experience. On the other hand, I feel as though the universities should not have to refund tuition if they are providing a reasonable and safe alternative to that experience that still allows you to progress in your studies. Refunding room and board as well as dining plans makes complete sense to me, since they are essentially terminating a contract that was paid for in its entirety prematurely and that service is no longer available to students. But we're still having the courses, and it's not like universities could have provided that on campus experience without risking the health of thousands of students and faculty and getting sued for that. To be honest, it was a lose-lose decision to begin with, so it was probably in our collective best interest to irritate people off by sending them home.
All in all, the semester is almost over, and we can only hope for an easier summer and a better fall season ahead as we continue to navigate the current pandemic.