Five months ago, amid a whole lot of FOMO but even more uncertainty, I wrote a column titled Cornell Study Abroad: Home Edition. I had elected to stay at home for the fall semester due to a variety of reasons, not least because of the rising case count and the mounting panic I felt every time another university shut down. But just as staying home last semester felt like the best decision at the time, coming back felt natural for this spring. Remote school had reached the stage of monotony where any change seemed better than the existing condition, so I took the leap and found my way back to the snowy gorges of upstate New York.
After almost an entire year away, being back in Ithaca is a bit like a fever dream. I can only describe it as feeling like seeing a friend you had lost contact with, only to realize upon meeting that you had both drastically changed.