Maybe I Will Miss Quarantine
By: Aaliyah Karim
Published: July 12 2021

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The lack of change in scenery, environment, and routine has made it exceptionally difficult to recall memories and stories that have happened over the past year. Every online meeting and every lecture start to feel the same, and you no longer see the difference between Mondays, Tuesdays, and Saturdays. The students in your class do not have faces, only initials. Sometimes if they are bold enough to turn on their mic during lecture, you might even hear their voice! How exciting!  

 

I’m watching recorded lectures on double speed, yet still not being able to pay attention. The lengthy and tiring commute from my bed to my desk is draining me. I’m frantically looking for another lo-fi playlist because my current one doesn’t make me feel productive enough. I’ve found that my days will start off optimistic, yet quickly turn despondent; I’m hopelessly looking for a silver lining in all of this.  

 

With vaccines rolling out and McMaster announcing plans to return to campus this upcoming school year, myself and many others are ecstatic to finally see a light at the end of this dark, turbulent tunnel. Yet in the back of my mind, I can’t help but wonder whether or not I’ll miss this.  

 

Yes, you read that right. What if I miss this?  

 

The absence of commute, the convenience of rewatching lectures, and most outstandingly, the quiet; there must be a blessing in disguise somewhere. So, despite being 5 lectures behind in Calculus, I have decided to put together a list of things I definitely will miss when hopefully… we get out of lockdown and see each other again. 

 

Wearing anything you want to lectures. 

  • I have worn shower towels on my head, pajamas, no bra, mismatched socks, and many other things that I wouldn’t dare be clothed in if school were in person. I’ve even laid in bed, blanket over my face, while a professor gave a lecture on visualizations. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I was even awake for that lecture… but I digress.  

 

Virtual workshops that would have otherwise been difficult to attend 

  • This year, I have attended virtual yoga sessions, interview prep-sessions, and a tax-seminar, all from the comfort of my own bed. Yes, even the yoga one! 

 

Commuting 

  • This will not apply to anyone who would have moved to Hamilton, but for those of us who are, “far-but-not-that-far”, hours of commuting have surely been saved in the last year. For me, that would have included an awkward ten-minute drive to the bus station in a nearby city, and another half an hour spent in a packed bus. As someone who currently takes two steps from my bed to my desk, I have little to complain about! 

 

Money saved (unless you are a small business owner, in which case, I’m so sorry).  

  • Okay, okay... I’ll admit, I have had to completely break the bank to pay for my tuition (online schooling at that). But rather than eating campus food every day and exploring the restaurants Hamilton has to offer, here I am eating my mom’s homecooked meals, for free. 

 

Being seconds away from the fridge 

  • You know those 10-minute breaks professor’s give in the middle of a 3-hour lecture, where they encourage students to go for a walk and breathe fresh air? I’ve always spent them raiding the fridge. Always.  

 

Hearing awkward accidental unmuted conversations  

  • Shout out to the student that called a professor’s lecture boring. I know you were probably mortified, but at least I had a good laugh!  

 

Recorded lectures 

  • This has arguably been the best part of online schooling. Sometimes a professor speaks too quickly, and you don’t catch what they say. Or perhaps you just want to sleep in for your 8:30am Friday lecture (I don’t judge)! Recorded lectures have seriously been helpful, and it may be worthwhile to keep it up somehow when things are to go back to in-person.  

 

Ultimately, I could think of 1000 words to describe this pandemic, yet still feel speechless. This past year has been exceptionally difficult, bittersweet, and hopeful, all at once. While in the back of my mind I’m thinking, “Is it even reasonable to be discussing the end of the pandemic?”, coming out of the umpteenth lockdown we’ve had in Ontario has me feeling pretty careless.  

 

As we come to a conclusion, I would encourage you to create your own list of things you will miss! Embrace both the hard times and the good times. Reminisce on all the covid-unique experiences you’ve faced this year. Start curating exaggerated stories to pass onto your grandchildren. Last but not least, begin to brace yourself for those dreadful post-pandemic conversations you will be having for a long, long, time.  

As I enter yet another pomodoro session, staring at the dust accumulating on my wall, I can’t help but fantasize about in-person classes. I had little time to digest the ending of high school, let alone the beginning of university, and to be quite honest, this whole year has felt like one long fever dream.