For my first post, I want to address the obvious situation that we’re all in. In my “about me,” I tell you that my personal philosophy revolves around positivity and cliché messages about getting through tough times. But no worries, that doesn’t mean that I ignore that life isn’t rough sometimes. Or even most of the time. And people that pretend like life’s ugly side doesn’t exist are lowkey the worst kind of people, because no one has never had a bad day, week, or year. So this first post is a letter to the bad days.
You’re actually the worst. After getting through a World War III scare, devastating wildfires in Australia, and the death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, we all thought that the worst was behind us and that we could still make you our year. Each of those events felt a little bit like the world was ending, but nothing has really felt closer to that feeling than the events of March 9, 2020. That was the start of the bad days.
The day started out like any other Monday morning. I woke up at 9am, got my Dunkin’, and headed to my first class of the day at 10. Everything seemed normal, but on my walk to my second class of the day, I couldn’t help but dwell on the fact that this might be my last week on campus for a while. Professors had begun to warn us that contingency plans were in place should we need to move online for a few weeks after spring break which started at the end of that week. That didn’t sound like an ideal plan given the fact that it was finally getting warmer, darty season was approaching, and the overall mood on campus was improving by the day. Hopefully this would only be one more short test you throw at us. It was only March and we’d already gone through so much, what was one more obstacle?
Ultimately, I knew every decision would come out of concern for everyone’s safety and I was mentally prepared to pack up for three weeks that Friday. But only 30 minutes later while sitting in my English seminar we received a shocking message from our University President:
“Face-to-face classes are suspended for the remainder of Monday, March 9, and Tuesday, March 10 […] All residential students are encouraged to return home immediately […] the University will evaluate, in consultation with public health authorities, whether conditions allow students to return to campus and resume face-to-face instruction on March 30.”
What the hell? That wasn’t supposed to happen until Friday. Anger, fear, sadness, and disappointment hit me all at the same time. I knew that this was going to be more than just a little test of strength. Shit just got real.
Walking back to my dorm after class gave me the strangest feeling that stayed with me until I got home in Baltimore the next day. Everything felt like it was happening in slow motion and I was suddenly removed from my body and watching myself from above. Looking at my Snapchat and Instagram stories, I saw photos and videos of everyone starting to darty on Eddie’s (our quad) to celebrate the extended time we had off. But maybe celebrate is the wrong word. The whole situation looked like celebrating, but we all knew in the back of our minds that this really might be the last time we see each other for a very long time. The email that day said we might return March 30, but we were no strangers to COVID-19. We watched the news, we read about China, and our friends were coming home from Italy. We knew that very bad days were ahead. We all kind of knew that March 30 would turn into the whole semester, and it eventually did. So in a way, dartying on Eddie’s was an end-of-the-world party. We were far from celebrating. We were mourning.
The rest of that night was a blur. My friends left. I went out and had fun. Got dinner at the burger place on 189th. Basically, that night was a hail mary attempt to cram the entire spring semester into a few hours. But then I went back to my room and saw my clothes scattered on the ground in my attempt to pack that afternoon. My roommate was gone. My friends were home. The bad days creeped in. I tried to sleep that night, but honestly that was too much to ask. I tossed and turned with frustration and when I did slip into sleep, I was pestered with bad dreams. That morning I woke up and packed and took one last look out of my window at Keating Hall’s tower and my favorite tree on campus for the last time. My uber dropped me off at Penn Station which was practically empty for probably the first time ever. I got on my train and we pulled away. That was that. Hello bad days. Goodbye Fordham. Goodbye New York. Until August.
Hoping for a better 2021