It is quite possible that this piece will not age well in a very short period of time, that I am suffering from a severe case of wishful thinking or that I am throwing caution into the wind by writing this piece, but I will just go out and say it: I am optimistic that we will return to the College of William and Mary this coming fall. I know that the ongoing pandemic has not yet shown any signs of slowing down, and that such an effort is not aided by the foolish decision of certain state governors to reopen non-essential businesses, but I do know this: I will be back at college at some point in the future, and I am hopeful that it will be this fall.
Why do I retain such an optimistic outlook against such overwhelming odds? Major colleges across the United States, including Harvard University, have announced that they are considering “different scenarios” for the fall semester, and even though major steps have been taken in highly populated areas such as New York City, and my own home state of New Jersey, in order to contain the coronavirus, there is still no discernible finish line for when this pandemic will finally pass. Logically, I suppose that I should be considering different scenarios as well. As much as I love my family and am thankful to have been home for Easter, I am not sure that I can handle another semester stuck at home, away from the College and my friends that I already have not seen in months except for Zoom and FaceTime calls.
“As much as I love my family and am thankful to have been home for Easter, I am not sure that I can handle another semester stuck at home, away from the College and my friends that I already have not seen in months except for Zoom and FaceTime calls.”
Additionally, a return to campus this fall implies a return to normal life, which I suppose has only become more wishful as we march on through this worldwide crisis. I do not and will not for a second ever advocate returning to college or reopening the state if it is not absolutely safe to do so, but I am confident in the physicians, nurses and medical professionals across the country who are working around the clock to halt the spread of this pandemic. If there is even a sliver of a chance that the crisis will be resolved by the time of the fall semester, then the optimistic side of me, who is tired of bad news, cannot help but leap on it.
So, I continue to hold out hope. I might be setting myself up for disappointment this way, but I cannot help but wish for a return to business as usual back at the College. I know that the graduating senior class will not be returning either way, except for their postponed Commencement ceremony, and I am really sorry for them. I know that what I have lost as a freshman pales in comparison to the senior class. However, across all of our situations, I feel that hope is one of the best cures that we have in order to remind ourselves that one day, this pandemic will have finally passed over, and when that happens, we will all finally be able to reunite with our friends and resume our daily lives.
Email Lucas Harsche at firstname.lastname@example.org.