By Emma Logan | Photo by Patil Khakhamian
I think we all know what it feels like to be left waiting during quarantine. Back in March, when it became apparent that my high school experience was coming to an abrupt end, my unstimulated mind went on the defensive.
All the excitement and expectations previously reserved for prom, graduation, senior trip, seasonal internships, and other experiences with friends had nowhere to go, so I redirected this energy to the next phase of my life: college. Who will I be? What will I experience? What types of people will I form unbreakable bonds with?
I made dorm room boards on Pinterest and followed my future peers on Instagram. I curated new playlists of music to inspire this new me, this college me. I spent most of my summer sitting alone in my backyard picturing myself in this mountain oasis free from cancelled plans and unresponsive friends. It was clear my old life had ended, so I counted down the days until my new one began.
But now, coming up on the end of my very first week on campus, I am having to confront the fact that college is not the shelter from this sense of stagnated time that I thought it would be. Dining halls are closed, and Priddy Trips were cancelled. Recognizing others becomes almost impossible as new faces blur together and names are mumbled under masks. Many clubs and student organizations are unsure if they will pursue activities this year. Online orientation forces us away from interesting conversations with new people in the sun and back into our dorms for hours on end. Almost every adult, teacher, and upperclassmen I talk to tell me to “find my people,” but in a world where our chance to stay together on campus is inherently tied to our ability to stay apart, that message has become increasingly patronizing. I crave human touch. I want to go to a party. And most of all, I am still waiting.
I am waiting for this all to change. I am left feeling like I am not in college, and time is not passing. But I am in college, and time is passing. As the newest members of the Colorado College community, the class of 2024 is going to have to understand that our time together will look increasingly different than imagined.
It is reassuring that we have already adapted to some extent. An active “CC Missed Connections” page on Instagram connects those of us in quarantine looking out windows with those of us walking outside. Slackline and Spike Ball offer unique ways to socialize while distanced. Instructors are making a real effort to allow space for mingling in Zoom classrooms. Although this does not live up the blissful mirage I imagined over the summer, I do believe that it is all meaningful in its own way. With time, we will find a way to experience everything we want, and I am grateful to be here despite the worry that we aren’t quite yet. At least for now, I think it’s going to be OK.