Blouch: We’re not going back to ‘normal’; it’s time to adapt

Cat Blouch

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

As students and members of the workforce wait with bated breath for a sense of normalcy, time only moves forward. More classes move to online formats, businesses continue to employ logistics to operate with COVID-19-related obstacles and many of us have reached the point in which we’ve nearly forgotten life before the pandemic. 

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As we become accustomed to this new lifestyle — a world of social distancing, remote communication and increased anxiety many of us wish for things to go back to the way they were. Students around the country are deferring with claims that they’ll return once their academics resemble the pre-pandemic structure. 

However, we have no real idea of when that structure will come back. 

“The harsh truth for upperclassmen such as myself is that we’ve been placed into the unfortunate situation that we very likely might be pursuing the rest of our degrees in a remote fashion.”

“I deferred this semester because I don’t really like online classes,” Rael Watson, 21-year-old hospitality management major at Colorado State University explained.

Like many others in his situation, he hopes that next semester will look different. 

Sienna Sasselli, a 20-year-old family and consumer sciences major at CSU, explained her deferral, saying, “I don’t really see a point in returning to school if I’m not getting the education I’m paying for.”

As students make the same decision to defer while waiting for things to return to the old ways of operation, we must question exactly how long they will be waiting. The lack of clear communication from the CSU administration makes it impossible to know, but the science doesn’t appear to be on our side here. 

“Optimism is healthy, but don’t let it hold you back from living life to the fullest extent you can given the current conditions.”

AsapSCIENCE explains a realistic timeline for when we can expect a COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed to the public. While there is no way to demonstrably know exactly when we might expect a vaccine being administered to the public, based on the research, a vaccine is still months away.

Without a vaccine, it’s only wishful thinking to assume that our college experience will resemble the old structure. Based on this knowledge, you can likely expect next semester and the semester following to resemble the present. 

You must ask yourself: if we were promised any significant changes to the current way of doing things, wouldn’t it be safe to assume that CSU would inform their students and faculty of this information?

Instead, we are left with vague responses, a lack of a clear timeline and the avoidance of any real communication about what the future holds. There actually is a strong message to be found in the lack of any message at all. In this case, it is that we likely shouldn’t waste our time getting our hopes up. 

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The harsh truth for upperclassmen such as myself is that we’ve been placed into the unfortunate situation that we very likely might be pursuing the rest of our degrees in a remote fashion. This information may be unsettling to say the least, but the sooner we accept this cold truth, the sooner we can focus on how best to adapt.

Optimism is healthy, but don’t let it hold you back from living life to the fullest extent you can given the current conditions. Now is the time to invest in personal skills that will help you reach your full potential given an unfortunate turn of events. 

Learning how best to manage your time, finding healthy coping mechanisms and even investing in tools that aid with remote communication are all ways in which one can begin to accept this new way of life. 

Keep in mind, it is never a bad thing to try finding the positives during a time in which uncertainty is commonplace. 

Cat Blouch can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @BlouchCat.