My first in-person, spring semester is already over, and I am still learning, or more like re-learning, how to navigate a college life that is not behind a computer screen. For so long, college consisted of sitting in my childhood bedroom, attending classes online, and having my dogs as my only study partners. It felt like I was very much on my own. Even with all the opportunities that UD had to offer online over the pandemic, it just did not feel the same as in-person school. I felt like I had to navigate this confusing time on my own, and as a pre-med student, that seemed so daunting. Continue reading
Going home at the end of my first semester was bittersweet. As I filled up my suitcase, I packed away the people, places, and routines that had become a part of my daily life. It would be seven weeks until I returned to them. Once I completed my last final, though, I beamed at the sight of my mom’s car pulled up to the lightly-frosted Green. Suddenly, all I could think of was curling up in my childhood bedroom, the endless holiday baking about to ensue, and a houseful of siblings coming from three different states. I was ready to go home. Continue reading
This past year has been very isolating, physically as well as emotionally. I remember how much in disbelief I was when we got the email last spring saying that we had to go home and take classes online for the rest of the semester. I honestly believed that by the summer, life would be back to normal. I believed that I would be returning to campus in the fall and seeing my friends very soon. I did not picture spending many long months in quarantine, isolated from everyone. I did not imagine the toll this would take on my mental health. I did not expect to feel so anxious, lonely, and fearful of the future. But something else I didn’t expect was to be listening to three new albums by Taylor Swift. This past year, Taylor Swift released the albums folklore and evermore, and just recently, her 2008 album, Fearless, but rebranded to Fearless (Taylor’s Version). I do not know if it was fate or some higher power that knew I needed these albums when I did, but every single one was released right when I needed her music the most. Continue reading
Over the course of the past year or so, I — like many, many other people — tried to find ways to pass the time and distract myself from the stresses and monotony of life at home. Among the more fruitful attempts of passing time, that was not movie marathon-induced naps or zoning out and staring at the ceiling, I had picked up a handful of hobbies and activities that have always piqued my interest. Some of these included yoga, getting some use out of my Nintendo Switch (see: Hades Game), bullet journaling and sketching, crocheting, and (gasp) writing (pretends to be shocked).
I found that despite the initial distress and learning curve that came with virtual learning, it coincided with the stage in my life where I actually needed to start properly developing personal projects and time for myself that wasn’t dictated by my coursework. When the pandemic hit, I had only really experienced one full semester of college and hadn’t quite established a routine for what to do in my spare time besides studying or the occasional swim; in a way, I didn’t get to foster the sense of independence or explore my personality in the way that I had wanted to. This past year, I found that this influx of excess time, bereft of the intensive dual high school / club sports schedule, provided an opportunity to actively make use of that time by incorporating these newfound hobbies and projects. What’s more, it gave me something to structure my life around instead of robotically moving from screen to screen and gave my days a breath of fresh air. Continue reading
It’s the spring semester, and whether you’re on campus or not, the onset of classes brings a sort of schedule to the week and some variety as compared to winter or even the last semester. I know that I’ve felt some more variety for the first time in almost a year, since this is my first time being extensively back on campus since last March, when I had to move out of Redding! Still, with many classes relegated to your room and the overall year of quarantine that we have gone through and continue to go through, it can feel like we’ve been repeating the same week over and over or are beginning to go into that cycle. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to add some variety to life that can also help you keep tabs on the days.
I was inspired to write this article for two reasons, the first of which being an event that was held in my Residence Hall, Independence, on the first day of classes. We were able to go down to the lounge that night and, while maintaining social distancing, grab a small pot, fill it with dirt, and plant some seeds in it. This is my first time taking care of a plant (if you don’t count science classes in middle and high school), and watching Pharbara’s progressive growth has been great! And yes, my plant’s name is an extended reference to Phoebe Bridgers. The first week there was little growth, but since then four sprouts have popped up and continue to rise. Watching as it grows and making sure I’m watering it as its soil becomes dry has been a nice little daily activity that keeps things fresh and a little bit exciting. Continue reading