My first taste of freedom and the sense of self I developed in college is gone because some people refuse to stay home and help flatten the curve of coronavirus cases.
I’ve never been able to focus at home, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that. Before the pandemic, I would spend my time anywhere but home.
I realized that home wasn’t for me during my first year of college when I first experienced complete freedom.
In high school, I was so confined. If I wanted to go out, I had to give my parents a list with everyone’s full name, their phone numbers, their parents’ names, their parents’ phone numbers and later send them a photo of me with everyone I was with. They made sure I gave them proof of where I was and with whom.
My first year at Cal Poly Pomona felt like the best year of my life, and every year since then has topped it. I hit the highest point in my life, so far, emotionally and physically.
I did my work at coffee shops, libraries, parks and anywhere that wasn’t my dorm. I took the bus everywhere and met fascinating people. I ventured out to other campuses for fun and expanded my network.
Ever since CPP has gone digital, I’ve been placed back into confinement, coincidentally enough, at my parents’ house.
I returned home in fear of not keeping up with my payments at my apartment in Walnut because of the closure of my workplace at the Bronco Recreational and Intramural Complex.
Although I’m fortunate to have the option of working from home, I don’t know what a whole semester of this will do to my sanity.
I’m glued to my computer for eight hours nonstop sometimes, sitting through my Zoom lectures and my shifts at work. My eyes burn. My head hurts. Staying inside and staring at screens for too long is making me emotionally and physically exhausted.
Realizing that I have to wake up to do it all over again devastates me a little more each day.
Going digital can’t possibly be doing anything to relieve our concern and health during these troubling times.
I wonder what we’re all going to be like once we can go out with one another again.
I like to picture what the first hangout after quarantine is going to be like. Just picture it. It’s bound to be one for the books.
At the same time, I can’t help but think, what if everyone is too lifeless to go out anymore by then?
Being stuck indoors, behind a screen, with only three people to talk to can really take a toll on you.
The end of this pandemic is unpredictable. We may emerge from quarantine into a grand celebration or a post-apocalyptic nightmare.
I resonate with the dread that comes from staying indoors, but our ability to stay indoors can have a significant effect on the outcome of this pandemic.
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