High hopes and realities of a college freshman: my first year is over


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Ryder Noah From

Some say that anxiety is like the whole world is ending and the person experiencing the anxiety attack is the only one who notices because everyone else isn’t in that world of fear.

As someone who has anxiety, it’s hard not to fall into a deep place of panic and depression when it seems that the world is truly ending.

The current situation is more tortuous than that, however. It’s not an end brought on by an alien species like all the dystopian memes predict will happen when April hits—it’s a pause. A standstill. A moment of nothing but wasting away in my small bedroom waiting to experience life again. 

I don’t feel like I’m waking up with a purpose anymore. College was my main drive to continue on to meet whatever goals or dreams lie waiting in my future; it pulsated life into me. With academics slowing down and not occurring within a normal academic environment, I don’t feel that drive anymore.

One piece of coping advice is to maintain hobbies. So far I’ve been playing Pokémon and writing for myself, I expect at some point I’ll download Wizard 101 to relive childhood enjoyment, and I plan on practicing singing and piano.

But how long will this last? If life is like a motorcycle, hobbies are the side car. Going anywhere is always more fun with a friend, but you need the main engine to guide everything.

This quarantine is like government-mandated depression. I can feel myself sinking deeper and deeper with only the light of going back to college keeping me from truly drowning. 

I had plans for the rest of the semester: go to the city more, visit a gay club and sing karaoke at Cat’s Den or CSF. No more can I strive to meet those goals, all of them washed away with the disappointing spring rain.

Maybe if I was quarantined on campus it would be better and I would be happier. It’s no psychological secret that one’s environment has a strong influence on them. It can change their mood, give them energy, motivate them.

The highest hope I’ve had this year is that everything will go back to the way it was before COVID-19 when I wake up tomorrow, but I know reality is different. When college does truly start up again, I’ll be carried out of this dormant, emotionless volcano, ready to explode with life into my sophomore year.

But until then, the only world that’s spinning is the one in my DS.