March 28, 2023

You always wore a mask, you didn’t go to Station and you kept your circle small. It was just a matter of time, you reassure yourself–there’s nothing more you could have done. But even though you knew this was probably going to happen eventually, that doesn’t make it suck any less. I’m talking about a ten-day COVID-19 exposure quarantine.

So now you’ve found yourself feeling like a caged animal in your ‘Burbs house, ordering free CDR food and occasionally throwing out a whole meal when it looks inedible, giving you vivid flashbacks to your meal plan days. You ask yourself: now what?

Well, great question. It’s day six of my ten-day lockdown and I’m nearing the brink of insanity. I’ve all but forgotten what it feels like to wear jeans. My screen time is a hefty nine hours per day. School and class have blurred into one jumbled experience, as both have me sitting in front of my laptop for hours. The sun goes up, I open my laptop. The sun goes down, I close my laptop.

A few key things have gone wrong during my lockdown so far. I had to drive to Beavercreek to get a rapid test. For one of my in-person classes, the professor simply did not join my Teams meeting, leaving me no option but to miss class. I don’t have a good way to pick up my prescriptions. I used Instacart to get some groceries delivered, and even though they didn’t find my maple syrup, they charged me for it anyway. So there are definitely some elements to quarantine that make it less than ideal. 

I think the worst part of this lockdown is that it’s made me realize that it’s not much different from how school has been going these past two semesters. Aside from going to an in-person class once in a while, I was pretty much locked down anyway. I think I speak for a lot of students when I say, the key is to not think about it too hard. If you let the fact sink in that some of the “best years of your life” turned out to be a plague-ridden mess, you’ll spiral. And since there’s literally nothing we can do to make it better, it’s best not to think about it.  

I think it’s okay to feel angry. It’s okay to feel cheated out of an experience that we just didn’t get. It’s not just that we’re missing out on two years of traditional college; it’s that in place of those two years, we’re doing whatever this is. What’s getting me through my lockdown and through the end of my college career is the fact that even though we’ll never get the college experience back, we’ll still be young when we graduate. Who says we have to be taking classes to take part in the social renaissance that will be post-COVID life? We can still go to bars on the weekends when we’re recent graduates. We can still stay out late, make new friends and be a little reckless after we graduate. And when that day comes, we’ll think about our past selves and the people we are right now. We’ll thank them for doing all they could, and then, respectfully, try to block out the fact that COVID-19 ever happened. 

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