Chronicles of College in Quarantine
By: Julia Rosow
FOMO. A term all too familiar to college students. A year ago, it was frequently thrown around after missing a night out to study or when a work commitment conflicted with Sunday brunch with the girls.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on and students settle into their fall semesters, FOMO in college has taken on an entirely new meaning. Football stadiums that used to be packed with high-energy students and fans are now COVID-19 testing sites. Campus engagement fairs are taking place through the screens of our laptops. Maskless social gatherings of 10 or more people can lead to disciplinary hearings. The closest semblances to typical college life are Zoom lectures, breakout rooms, and heavier workloads - a far cry from what were supposed to be some of the best years of our lives.
As a junior in college, I am still struggling to accept that countless college moments have been taken away. As I write this, I can’t help but think about how I planned to study abroad in Florence next semester or how I should be currently planning Homecoming weekend for my sorority. I'm sure countless personal examples come to your mind as you read too.
"The global “pause” that brought the world to a halt also brought forth unexpected opportunities and time for personal reflection."
I continue to remind myself that everyone is dealing with challenges during this global pandemic, many of which are far greater than the personal examples I just described. Yet, this does not trivialize the communal challenge facing college students. Though this is not the year we expected, it has, in its own way, brought us together. It has given us a way to understand each other despite our differences – and I cannot help but think, maybe this is the hidden silver lining we never realized.
The past several months have taught us to stop taking little joys for granted. The global “pause” that brought the world to a halt also brought forth unexpected opportunities and time for personal reflection. As far as I’m concerned, this pandemic has created a lifetime excuse to live in the moment, appreciate the important people by our sides, and travel to Florence when we get the chance.