I first knew that COVID-19 would define my time in college in an iZone conference room, of all places. Ironically, in a spot that was supposed to be a hub of electrifying inspiration, I received the most depressing, unexciting news of all. Called to a meeting with the two professors and a dozen other students with whom I would be going to Italy on a Classics department trip, I learned that due to the COVID-19 situation in Italy, we would not be able to go on the trip over spring break as planned. I called my dad as I left the meeting, letting him know that I would be coming home over spring break, already worried that we would not be able to return to campus.

When I returned for my sophomore year, everything was different. No guests in our dorms, Zoom classes, eating alone. The physical distance required for public safety resulted in social distance as well. I grew apart from some friends; I didn’t grow closer with others. While I was able to meet some new people, my sophomore year was considerably more socially conservative than I would have predicted or liked. I imagine I’m not the only one.

Now I’m a junior, and while I was able to return to campus on time, I can feel the connections that should be stronger, the ones that were never made, and the ones that fell apart. My friends and I have issues, both mental and physical, from this pandemic. My time in college has been defined by it. I don’t know what a normal semester would be like — I’ve never had one, save for my first.

That trip that was canceled is now planned to happen during my senior year. What was originally planned to be a fun, educational, and warmer way to spend spring break will be part of my senior capstone. But for all the things I haven’t done in college, I’ve also made friends I wouldn’t have made without COVID-19, reconnected with old hobbies, and enjoyed my time here. 

I’ve come to terms with my normal. It isn’t productive to imagine what could have or should have happened — normal college for me is COVID college. 

As restrictions ease, I won’t be “returning to normal”. But that’s definitely for the best.

What antisemitism at UR looks like

I am troubled by a pattern of excluding Jewish voices from conversations about what language is harmful to Jews.

Note on the Israel-Palestine Special Edition

Free and open discourse is the bedrock of a vibrant society, and we aimed to help contributors feel empowered to speak their minds with confidence.

War in Gaza hits UR campus

Amid the release of several administrative statements about the war in Gaza, vigils, protests, and counseling sessions have hit UR’s campus.