U OF I BLOG #1
Coming to the University of Iowa on short notice and coping in a new environment with several obstacles, both personal and global.
You’re born. You grow up. You die. That’s the cycle of life.
They say somewhere in between, you get an education, you find love, and you become successful. Funny how it somehow happens, but the path is never that simple.
Take the pandemic for example. People say it has negatively impacted their lives, from losing their job to causing depression to making an ever growing situation even more difficult.
I cannot say the same for mine: the pandemic has saved my life.
It is not an upper-hand I have in saying so but rather a perspective I’ve gained from it.
Before the pandemic, I was anti-social, dependent, loathing, and overall irresponsible. Then, suddenly, in the midst of a surge in infections, the collapse of the economy, and the struggle of society, I was in summer Iowa, alone, broke, and in a college that I was my last choice.
The University of Iowa is far from a bad school, in all honesty, it was a school I wanted to attend, but I succumbed to the external validity of attending somewhere “prestigious”. I guess you can count that on the list of bad traits I had before the pandemic was in full swing.
Barely anyone was here. There were enough people to fit 2-3 people on each floor of Stanley Hall. You could call it peaceful but you can also call it isolated. A pin dropping could be equivalent to the earth quaking.
I didn’t deal with it very well. Maybe because I already had to ration 30 meals in 60 days or maybe because I felt totally uncomfortable or maybe because I couldn’t deal with being in the middle of nowhere without any outside help.
But, in fact, the problem was that I knew no one and was scared to meet anyone. It was so easy to tell myself, “Well, I have a mask, so it’ll be hard anyways”, “There’s really no point in interacting”, or “I should just focus on school”. So easy, yet so regressive.
For two whole months, I took shelter in my room. It was as if the outside world was a nuclear background to the safe, almost indestructible bunker of Room 403. Nearing the end of July and the notification that I’d be moving into Mayflower on August 8th, I decided to make a change.
What is the use of going to college just for the education? Masks may make things more difficult but they don’t make you mute. I think that’s a leading cause of why it was easier to make friends in a place I’ve never been before.
And that’s what I did. Around the first week of people moving in, it was as simple as introducing myself and asking to exchange contacts. To be honest, I was scared; at first, I was doubtful I would be accepted so easily under such circumstances, but the results were quite the opposite: friendly equals friendly.
You start to realize everyone else is just as scared too. Everyone has doubts, everyone loses some confidence. Especially in a new place, in a new school, in a new life. The pandemic has made that even more so.
So, even if you’re just out of blue as I am, don’t let it prevent you from missing out on a great college experience, COVID-19 or not.