Amid uncertainty, students should seek patience

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GRAPHIC BY ANGELA VASISHTA / THE FLAT HAT

Patience? Me? Anyone who had spent even a brief amount of time in my company before the COVID-19 pandemic would have told you that patience and I are simply not compatible, like broccoli on pizza or Apple earbuds with literally any older iPhone model. Despite the promises made by others of a potentially amazing partnership, I had historically never quite seen myself settling down with patience — until the pandemic, that is.

All metaphors aside, one of the few net benefits that I have seen myself obtaining from this whole ordeal is that I was schooled — or some would say baptized by fire — in the art of patience, and while there is certainly more work to be done, I would like to think that I learned a lot from this newfound relationship. I believe the lessons I learned might, in fact, be beneficial to us all as we approach the coming fall semester and all of its frustrating, yet constant, revisions.

“That time of enjoyment will soon come for all, and a day will soon come on campus when we are all finally able to hug friends whom we felt as though we would never see again, to share good food without fear of passing infection, and just enjoy the beautiful time that we have with each other and never again take for granted.”

Of course, there has been the test in patience over these past few months as most of us waited inside our homes for the spread of the coronavirus to dramatically slow down. For me, this meant a personal reckoning for my skills in patience as the oldest of four siblings who are all very different from one another. While it seems very childish of me at this age to admit that I still have problems getting along with my siblings, I like to think that the experiences of sharing snacks with everybody, sacrificing time on the Internet to ensure that it does not slow down from too many connections, and bonding over more frequent family dinners and movie nights have allowed me to say that I am certainly improving in this area. I would say to anyone who has the opportunity to work on patience in regard to long-term relationships, such as your siblings, that it cannot fail to be time well spent.

Another frequent challenger to my patience has been the tense wait for the vaccine to COVID-19, and the seemingly logical promise of a complete return to normal life following its release. While expert opinions still differ on how long it will take for life to return to “normal” — as if it ever will — following the vaccine’s debut given the logistics of accessibility and distribution, I still sometimes agonize over the selfish temptation of an easy solution to this complicated issue, of a simple act that can reverse my world back from its current state of craziness as easily as flipping a light switch. While the vaccine may only mark the beginning of the long end for the pandemic, patience has taught me that, while our sacrifices and sufferings in the present seem as though they may never end, the rewards of making it all the way through the pandemic to its inevitable conclusion will shine only the brighter.

I tasted a glimpse of such rewards only a few short weeks ago when, after months of being quarantined and working at our respective summer jobs, I was finally able to reunite with my roommate for a weekend and enjoy his friendship that has made college all the more memorable thus far. That time of enjoyment will soon come for all, and a day will soon come on campus when we are all finally able to hug friends whom we felt as though we would never see again, to share good food without fear of passing infection, and just enjoy the beautiful time that we have with each other and never again take for granted. Have patience, my friends. That day is coming soon.

Email Lucas Harsche at lmharsche@email.wm.edu.