With the University relaxing or doing away with COVID-19 restrictions this fall — such as easing masking requirements and closing PCR testing locations — many students felt that this semester was the first “normal” one since the start of the pandemic.
Last year, I wrote a column titled “20 Things to be Thankful for in 2020: Cornell Edition” to encourage Cornellians to be thankful in spite of the struggles of the pandemic. Rereading that article is just a glimpse into how drastically our lives were changed by the start of the 2020 pandemic.
This year seems to feel no different than any other academic year we had. Except for the fact that it’s characterized by a very different reality from 2019 – a global pandemic, a worsening climate crisis and global economic crises. I was swallowed as a sophomore and spit back out as a senior, and I’m still trying to process the past year. I find myself a little more emotional than usual – both missing home, friends and family in sunny California. And yet clumsily trying to absorb as much of the treasured time I have with my friends in an arrangement that seems unlike the ones I will encounter after May.