The night before Halloween, I watched the Spanish and Latino Students’ Association (SALSA)’s 33rd annual Tropicana performance. This year, it was all virtual, celebrating past and present years of the organization. There were pre-recorded performances from No Disclaimers, Indulgence Dance Crew, Ma’Frisah, Xclusive Step Team, PASApella, and SALSEROS. There were also testimonials from various UR SALSA alumni, commending the group on their 50-year anniversary. Many had high praise for their experience in SALSA and thanked the organization for helping shape their college community and experiences.

It was warming to see so many members of the organization, young and old, relate to one another over a shared experience. Many of the clubs I was involved with the past two years have been dissolved in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, either due to a lack of interest or an inability to transition to a virtual platform. At a time when so many people are suddenly displaced by the absence of their former communities, it was encouraging to see students and alumni alike connect, albeit virtually.

It can be hard to find the energy to shift something that was once so easy and meaningful in person to an Internet landscape. Recently, my roommates have been talking about how humans’ addiction to comfort will be our downfall. Not changing anything and staying stagnant is comfortable. Thus, our own lack of ambition to do something will cause our demise. I’ve found it difficult to find motivation for things that used to be so simple — going to meetings, participating in events, focusing on my work. I used to attend several performances a week, both for the Culture section and for my own personal enjoyment. Now, somehow, I can hardly convince myself to click on a link for a virtual show. 

Maybe it’s because I miss interacting with art in person, or maybe it’s because my eyes hurt from looking at my computer screen all day, or maybe it’s because I’ve become lazier as the pandemic wages on. Either way, it’s something I’m trying to overcome. I’ve become cynical for the future and overly nostalgic for the times, any time, before this one. But I have to remember that our community at UR still exists — it’s just different, and for some of us, far away.

If you have the time, make something for your friend and send it in the mail. Scroll through the events on CCC to see if any virtual happenings interest you. Ask your friends to FaceTime. Learn a new craft (I hate all crafts because I’m bad at them, but I’ll learn one if you do). I’m scared that I’ll become trapped in my endless loop of not wanting to do anything, and then my addiction to comfort will become my downfall. After watching Tropicana on Friday, I’m determined not to let that happen. 


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