Letter to mom

This is not the University Experience I was promised

Back to my room and zoom university I go. Photo Gabriela Vasquez-Rondon


My house is so empty, I miss you, the cat, the neighborhood, and people. Oh my God how much I miss people. 

This is not what you told me the University Experience would be like. My dreams of exploring dark academia libraries, fantasies of destroying my liver at parties, and of walking across the quad—despite not knowing what a quad is or if Concordia has one—with classmates on the way to a lecture. 

I got a sweet taste of that last semester though. I played pool in bars while arguing over 16th century British poetry with a classmate, and I sat in lectures with 200 other students. I didn't find the quad, but still, it was awesome!

The thing that gets me most is the perpetuity of the isolation. When the lockdowns were first announced, it was supposed to be about a month. It cut my last year of highschool short, it was summer vacation come early. Then it lasted the summer, then my first year of university was online. Now my second year is looking likely.

My first semester went well. I wasn't surrounded by friends all the time, but I had made some at least. They’re all great people, but I’ve only been on campus one semester, so we’re not that close yet. We’ve all got weird schedules, pre-existing relationships to maintain, jobs, and adulting to do. 

I didn’t mind that I didn’t have a million besties right away, I had friends and that was enough. Then I went home to Toronto for the holidays, and now I feel like I'm back to square one. 

Going back to online classes is like a cruel joke, barely anyone has their cameras on, and I don't even need to roll out of bed. Yes, I know I should be sitting at my desk, but I'm still going to go on my phone whether I’m at my desk or in my bed. I look out my window from my desk and just see snow and sadness. It feels like it's dark outside for most of the day, so, respectfully, fuck it. I'm staying in bed, sorry Mom.

Once Omicron came around, It was back to Zoom, and staying inside all day scrolling through endless social media feeds. It’s not that I’m against this ruling, I trust the government although they’re usually the target of my vocalized frustrations—that and anti-vaxxers. Mom, I hate anti-vaxxers so much.

It just feels like the government is teasing us with the University Experience. We get one semester of real classes and then we’re shunted back to our lonely rooms and what’s worse, they closed the bars so I can’t even drink my problems away! 

Mom, it's just really hard right now. I don’t think this is what you meant by the University Experience, and it feels even worse because last semester was the University Experience. At least, I think it was definitely the closest I've ever come to that ideal.

I’m lonely, Mom, everything feels like a slog, lockdowns to wait out and lectures where I turn my camera off. I miss the buzz of campus and meeting new people that aren’t Zoom icons.