OPINION: Mental Whiplash

Morgan Carr, Creative Managing Editor

After the shutdown in March, the subsequent couple of months with an online pseudo-education (at no fault of the faculty and staff, we didn’t see this coming so quickly), and a summer break void of activities, we have trained our brains to accept the days running together. Having run on autopilot so long it shouldn’t have been a surprise to me when suddenly getting thrown back into a routine tripped me up, not to mention the heightened sense of panic.

Assignments and deadlines show the stark difference of letting the days run together just to cope versus having to know what’s due at what time every day for the next few weeks and months. Having all day, every day to revisit old hobbies and watch movies was a luxury I didn’t realize I would miss.

It’s only been one week of classes and I already feel like I’m falling behind. I’m spending hours just staring at my planner trying to remember what I’m supposed to do, what priority things should be, and if I’m forgetting something. I can barely focus on homework because I’m constantly thinking about everything else I have to do.

This semester promises to be the most thrilling (see: terrifying) on so many levels. Being back on campus among my peers is a new level of danger each day as the case count rises, even with masks and social distancing measures. It feels inevitable to be affected by this virus, it’s only a matter of when. No one wants to think about the likelihood of one of their friends dying.

While returning to a sense of structure and control is somewhat relieving, in the wider scope of this moment in history, my education feels miniscule. A global pandemic, a new wave of nation-wide civil rights movements, mass eviction and job-loss, threats to the USPS (one of the most essential services out there), and to top it all off we have an election to pay attention to. How, in this whole mess of things, am I expected to see my course load as my biggest priority? 

But on the flip side, it gets so overwhelming that it feels like that’s all I can do. Go to class, wear a mask, wash my hands, try to stay informed, don’t spiral. How are we supposed to look forward from here? Guess I’ll just have to schedule an existential breakdown each day between class and work.