As the Class of 2021 exits their final Zoom classes and bids farewell to their favorite spots on campus, seniors reflect on an unusual last year while looking ahead to their next chapter –– one marked by increased competition as COVID restrictions ease.
Despite all the memes we made about possible ways to splurge our “stimmies,” we also couldn’t be bothered to spend extra bucks on new releases that aren’t readily available on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max or Amazon Prime Video.
Some tasks that I once considered simple have now become taunting, such as starting an assignment, sending an email or eating three meals a day. Though the tasks themselves did not change, my perception of them and the conditions in which they were completed, have. Since the start of the pandemic, many students and workers have been forced to adjust to new, functional environments. But our “new normal” has presented itself with its own set of challenges including potential harm to our physical and mental health. According to a study by the CDC, “Three out of four Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 report poor mental health tied to the pandemic.” Moreover, the same study reports that “80 percent of students around the country say that COVID has negatively impacted their mental health, their spiritual health, and career aspirations”.