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Why I am Still Nostalgic about Pre-Covid College

Why I am Still Nostalgic about Pre-Covid College

I never thought I would say this, but I miss living in a stuffy dorm room. Four years ago, I packed up my belongings and moved to GMU, a place I would call home for the next four years. Instantly, I knew I loved being independent. COVID-19 has impacted most college students in various ways. For me, the biggest impact was having to move home from college. I didn’t think I would be home for too long, but the move-in date kept on being pushed back… and then COVID-19 cases increased…and they kept on increasing…. and now I’ve graduated, and am still at home. This is how a lot of college students were impacted too, and it seems like all of us miss the little parts of college. 

I miss waking up 10 minutes before class and rushing across the busiest part of campus to make it just in time. I miss meeting up with my group members between classes to finish up an assignment before my next class. Heck, I even miss going to the dining halls and eating below-average food with my friends. College was never too glamorous. I feel like everyone was struggling in some way or the other. However, there was unity in that. We were all struggling together. With most classes being online, there is no real connection we get to have with our classmates. Oddly, discussion board posts were the only way I interacted with my classmates my senior year. There was something about being in a class full of people that made us feel like we were all miserable together. 

My friends and peers seem to feel the same way. As one of my friends put it, “It feels like we were stripped of the fun parts of college, and we’re left with the hardest parts (aka classes).” Online classes are no joke. When I first transitioned into them last March 2020, I was excited because I thought it meant that our work would be easier. However, I think it has gotten harder. There was much more busy work than usual, and finding the motivation to do the work is a struggle in itself. Another friend explained how she misses the freedom that came with college. I think that resonates with a lot of us. As someone that came from a protective family, being able to hangout with my friends at any hour of the day, or be able to take spontaneous trips to DC was something I cherished. Even the simple things like doing the laundry or cleaning my room when I felt like it seemed like a luxury. Now that we’re back home, a lot of my friends, like me, have struggled to adjust to living with parents again. 

Now that I’ve graduated, it feels like college happened another era. A time where being in a packed gymnasium cheering on the basketball team or making my way through the crowded Johnson Center seemed like nothing out of the ordinary. Perhaps, because I never got the closure with my university, I miss it to this day. The pandemic happened so suddenly that I never really got to say bye to my home for the past couple of years.

Regardless of if you lived on-campus or off-campus, college doesn’t feel the same. You have to think twice before hanging out with a friend. You have to make sure you remember your mask and sanitizer for your in-person class. Instead of walking over to your professor’s office, you now have to click a Zoom link. Luckily, a lot of us went or are going through the same experience, and there’s unity in that too.

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Shabrina Parikh
Shabrina Parikh

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