I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a day that felt truly apocalyptic until last Wednesday. At approximately 5:30 pm, Tulane students began to live out their own version of a wild rumpus. President Fitts’ email threw everyone, especially those who live on campus, into a panic. Soon after the email, my mom booked me a flight back home for Sunday and my roommate and I just stared at each other in disbelief. Although dozens of other schools around the country have already switched over to online classes, it didn’t feel like this could be our reality; I felt like I had been transported back to when I would wear my PJ’s inside out and flush ice cubes down the toilet, dreaming of snow angels and frozen forts. Before Tulane confirmed anything, the parallels to my snow day fantasies were uncanny.
Unlike some of the older kids here, I’m excited to go home. I miss my boyfriend, my family, and having my own space. On top of that, I also love Maryland in the summer. Being home reminds me of midnight driving, windows down, the sound of cicadas, and freckles—so many freckles. I miss being a kid and this might be my last summer where I really have no responsibilities. It makes me want to run away from Tulane, a place that took me so long to adjust to, right back to the comfort of my old life. Is that so wrong?
But then I packed. I gently arranged the last 8 months into my bright blue and yellow Ikea bags, trying to decide what I would need and what I could store. All the good memories came flooding back. It’s easier to pretend it won’t be hard to end the semester early than to face the fact that I have to leave the people and places I fell in love with here. While taking down the pictures I’d so tediously pinned up on my wall, I am forced to relive the experiences of my past few months. I am reminded that my friends at Tulane have seen me at my best but also at my worst. Last semester took a huge emotional toll on me, as I’m sure it did on many other freshmen. We’ve all gone through our own shit, and I think if I’d gone home last semester I wouldn’t have come back. So yeah, I’d say this semester has turned me into a fighter. Sitting at dinner, I began to make plans with my friends to visit them sometime in the next month. If you’d told me in August that I would be close enough with people to do something like that, I would’ve cried tears of relief.
Something I think everyone needs to be reminded of is that college is not forever. Although it can feel awfully daunting at times, maybe even impossible, it’s just four years. Maybe three if you’re really on top of your shit. These few years will shape who I become as a young adult, and I can finally confidently say I’m ready for that. We might be wrapping this one up a little early, and tears will undoubtedly be shed, but I still remain hopeful. Having a community that spans across the US and even the world cannot be anything but magical. As we journey home, I will keep everyone and everything I was given here deep in my heart.
Cover Photo: House Mix Blog