Freshman Year, Interrupted

Latest posts by Olivia (see all)

… and with my last discussion post submitted, I just finished my freshman year of college! Of course, it’s not how I wanted its completion to be celebrated. I’m in a dark room in my grandmother’s apartment playing Animal Crossing as if my islanders’ most intimate feelings depended on it. That’s sort of how I play daily life, too.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what this epidemic means for both myself and my country, and I have some insight I figured I’d share, since I do run this bloody thing.

I have dreams almost every night of being on Temple’s campus. It’s my real home. It hosts my love, my best friends, my dreams of law school and nonprofit work, my academic achievements, my beloved debate team. Almost everything that’s important to me is nestled in North Philadelphia. We talked a lot in one of my classes about the meaning of home, and how home can be whatever the host makes of it, regardless of where your biological family resides. Temple’s home, period.

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My best friends and I.

I’m very lucky that my time at home has not resulted in any major breakdowns. I did leave my mom’s house in favor of my dad’s, which is a huge relief to me. It’s serene, it’s safe here. I’m lucky that I’m not trapped in a home with an abusive partner, or suffering in an immunocompromised waiting game of not if, but when I’ll end up in the hospital, or having to work as a nurse in New York City in order to put food on my children’s table, while watching other parents die at my workplace.

That being said, I’m allowing myself to mourn the freshman year I thought I’d have, and potentially the sophomore year that I wanted. I’ve been elected VP of my school’s debate team, so being on campus in the fall for recruitment and debate tournaments is crucial to my job description. If we’re relegated to online tournaments and recruitment, I’m not sure how the team will operate, and uncertainty is the biggest bitch of all.

I’m having to spend too much time away from my boyfriend; we celebrated our six month anniversary on Facetime, with wine and spaghetti and reminiscence of our time at a little nook of an Italian place in New York City, the place where we had the pleasure of hearing a gaggle of drunk moms celebrate being alive by calling each other “boomers” and hooting with laughter. Little memories like that usher in necessary joy to my mind when times are such as they are now.

As far as what our country looks like right now, I’m far too hopeful that the addition of socialist bailouts to a national health crisis will popularize socialist tendencies enough to get them squeaked into law, or at least embolden the country to elect Elizabeth Warren as Vice President of the United States. Oh, and her running mate, too.

This is silly optimism, though. Mitch McConnell will keep on doing his thang and you’ll see much of the same unless we can win back the Senate. I have half a mind to drop everything and go campaign in Massachusetts when Liz joins the VP race, but it’s hard to do something like that when home is calling.

I’m coming, Philadelphia, wait up for me!

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