College During a Global Pandemic

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College During a Global Pandemic

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I am currently a freshman in the Northeastern program living in Boston. Although initially on track to spend my first college semester living in London, I feel very fortunate to be able to attend in-person classes and get to explore the city of Boston. I know a lot of students who have to attend the entirety of their college experience online, and quite a few of my friends opted to defer to next year. 2020 has started a new era, not the roaring 20's everyone had hoped for but rather a complete cultural reset. Social activities are limited to small socially distanced groups and meeting new people in college just became 20x more difficult. It's interesting how conversations with friends has evolved to rely on heightened expressions of the eyes where most of the time you have no idea what faces lie beneath masks. I do however find that having these difficult experiences bonds the community in ways that weren't there before. Businesses ensure the safety of the public with health and safety precautions. The YMCA next to Northeastern campus has started to serve free meals, and Copley square continues to hold socially distanced farmers markets to support local produce. There is a sense of mutual understanding, shared emotions. Having in-person classes and events has helped me find a community of my own. With in-person classes however, comes cyclical COVID testing. I, myself, have become quite skilled at swabbing the back interior of my nose. It's hard to imagine life resorting back to normal, but I feel like my experiences of safely exploring Boston and navigating a bizarre college experience has proven to me that we are a resilient population that can endure and grown from the stresses of the pandemic.

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This item was submitted on November 13, 2020 by Windsyr Maughan using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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