By Qur’an Hansford
In the last editorial, we were sending well wishes and coping with the effects of the global pandemic, hoping that by the time the fall semester commenced we would return to some sense of normalcy. Well, I am currently writing this editorial from home, and not from my dorm, as I greatly anticipated. When Rider gave word that we would be going completely remote, I had no choice but to suspend my housing. I had felt a sense of guilt paying the cost of living while taking classes from my dorm when I could do the same at home for free. The whirlwind of emotion presuming I would be living on campus (given most of my classes were initially in-person) to not at all, then later having to commute for hybrid learning. The frustration and anxiety of not knowing if, when and how you will finish this year all while battling tuition costs, commuting and online education during an unpredictable global pandemic.
This is my last year of college, and it is not going the way I intended at all. I had six months to adjust to online learning, and I still feel as helpless as I did in March. I do not know if this editorial was supposed to be an uplifting one, but I do indeed want to make it a realistic one. I am honestly confused, I am anxious for my future and quite terrified about how the start of this semester will overall impact my senior year. In my closing editorial before we departed for summer break, I expressed my grievances with being at home and adjusting to being a student from my bedroom. As the summer days literally flew by, I convinced myself that the pandemic would be behind us by the start of the semester. I was too optimistic. As society started to open back up their doors to the public (because capitalism waits for no one) and as more people found loopholes to socialize again, I should have known not to be so eager about my return in the fall. I could not wait to go back to school, to be in my own space, to be in a classroom, to feel like a student again. But, then I got to thinking how things will really never, at least for a while, be the same as morbid as it sounds.
This is my last year and I am bound by the confines of my home, not being able to interact in the classroom, not being able to enjoy the fruits of being at the finish line. There are no weekends here, just days. Every day has felt the same since I first came home for spring break. My heart goes out to the freshmen who are just now getting started with their journey through higher education. I am so sorry that it is not going at all how you might have envisioned, as someone on the other side of the race this was not how I planned on going out either. I hope this is your first and last year where you cannot hang out with friends at the cafe, go to your first sporting event or some school spirit festivity on campus. Just know for the safety of everyone including yourself that this is best the way for now. I hope to bring you much lighter and better news for the weeks to come, The Rider News is riding alongside the student body as we make our way through this peculiar road ahead of us.