It’s a Saturday in October. You wake up in your forced triple, grab a leftover apple from last weekend’s excursion to a local orchard, and head to the Chocolate Bar to do some work before the game day tailgate. You’re still tired from last night when you started crying three Claws deep at the party in Kyle’s quad and—you think—wandered around Lower until you made it into a Mod party shortly before it was shut down. Nothing like BC in the fall, right? No, not Boston College—before COVID.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m eternally grateful to be back on campus, but you can’t deny that things look and feel very different. The Mods without parties and tailgates are like Kanye without Kim, TikTok without dance challenges, and quarantine without Tiger King. Since tuition is as high as ever, it’s only fair that our standards are too. We know that social distancing is important, but there are only so many nights you can spend cooped up in your dorm with your roommates. The person in charge of the new guest policy must have been burned by BC ResLife before; only jealousy could compel someone to drag an 8-man down to the level of a quad. Sitting in my dorm, pretending to watch my lectures and barely making it through online quizzes, there are days I forget I’m actually in college.
Where else to begin but online classes; who knew education connection would become little more than a TikTok audio? Professors are so accommodating during this time, of course. They know times are challenging, so what’s one more assignment? There’s nothing to do on the weekends anyways, so here’s more reading! More lectures and problem sets give us something to think about, other than the dumpster fire that is 2020, right? With many exams and quizzes moved online, professors are delusional if they think Catholic guilt will be enough to stop cheating. And if you actually do the work but something goes wrong due to technical difficulties—tough luck.
Your professor may not even know how to run Zoom, but no allowances will be made for us students, even though a small part of your soul actually dies when you enter a breakout room just to sit in silence. To be fair, there really isn’t much to talk about. There are no fun weekend activities to report (no one wants to hear about how you “discovered” this quirky little place called Cisco’s in the Seaport, Kim, there’s people that are dying!) and current events are usually depressing. Mansplainers need not worry though; you can still interrupt Becky in Physics class via Zoom!
Honestly, the daily anxiety I experience over potentially missed assignments is the only thing making me feel something anymore. (Did I overlook one hidden under “Modules”? Did I forget to press “Submit”?) On top of my stress about my Organic Chem quiz, I worry whether my professor can see that I looked up high-paying alternatives to being a doctor during it. (I also looked up how to come back from disappointing your parents, but that’s not important.) Under the new philosophy of “due tomorrow, do tomorrow,” the drive to complete online assignments has faltered, while the stress continues to build, and my phone just sucks up even more of my time as a result.
And BC Dining! Who hurt you? After Late Night left, you’ve really let yourself go. When the lines at the gym are longer than the lines at Lower, you know something is terribly wrong. Apparently BC dining thinks I can survive off of meat and rice and that I won’t want to eat breakfast at the reasonable hour of 10 am. I’ve forgotten what the satisfaction of a full stomach feels like after a meal, and I’ve resorted to using coffee to fuel myself since it’s the only good item offered. (Speaking of coffee, pour an iced vanilla latte out for the Chocolate Bar, missed but not forgotten.)
I know it’s hard to believe after all my complaining, but I really am glad to be back on campus. Even though it’s so different, the Heights are still home and I’ll take mediocre dining, online classes, and no tailgates over my childhood bedroom any day.