When this semester started, I was full of uncertainty and no small degree of sadness. Every online class, Zoom meeting, and hour spent in my room reminded me of what I thought my junior year of Princeton would look like. As a Residential College Adviser (RCA) for a group of first-years, I had to put aside my plans for fun study breaks in my room and what interacting with my “zees” (advisees) would look like. It was hard to reconfigure my perception of Princeton, and difficult to overcome how devastated I felt about the state of the semester and the world.
While I don’t think I’ll feel truly settled again until we are all back on the campus I’ve come to call home, I’ve been finding a little happiness in this semester again. Despite being scattered across time zones and oceans, my friends and I have managed to persevere and have fun. In maintaining connections even through these challenging months, our bonds have grown even stronger. And Zoom, despite its imperfections, has made it easier to meet and become closer with more casual friends from when we were on campus.
I’ve also become more deeply aware of the limited time I have left on campus. More than ever, I’m striving to make the most of the opportunities I have around me. I joined a theater group, because what is college without at least one theater memory? I take time to practice basketball in my driveway every day, something I couldn’t always do on campus, so that the next time I play intramurals in Dillon Gym, we’ll win. And I’m trying to get my required classes done this semester, so I have time for that painting class when we’re back.
This is a semester we all have to work through, but I’m hopeful that we’ll come out the better for it.