As the first semester of my sophomore year comes to a close, I can say this has been the most eventful time of my life. Catching Covid in September pushed me back a lot in my work and social life. I missed so many assignments and campus events that coming out of quarantine felt like I was starting over from scratch. Being isolated for almost two weeks made me realize that the world doesn’t wait for you. Work piled up and it was as if everyone forgot about me while I was away for what seemed like forever. My friends checked in when I first started isolating, but then the communication stopped. I had no idea what was going on outside of my cold room in Niagara Hall.
The death of my grandfather from dementia and cancer took a toll on me this fall as well. It signified a great change in my life; one that I thought I would have more time for. My close family has remained constant and stable throughout my childhood, but after his death, I definitely noticed a shift. There is a lot to deal with after a person dies and many loose ends to tie up. My mother has become very involved in this process, and as a result, I feel a lot more independent as a young adult. I’ve wanted this kind of freedom since I was a little girl, but I miss the attention from my mother. While my grandfather’s death was something my family expected, it shocked us all in different ways. Each of us had our own personal connections to him, but I will never know about them. In my family, we rarely express our emotions. Our lack of expressing emotions is something I think about constantly because I wish it were different. It would be nice not to have to venture outside of family to discuss family business. The whole situation felt strange, especially the timing of my grandfather’s funeral—I went home to New York City for the services while my peers were celebrating Halloween weekend. The lesson that I’ve learned so far in sophomore year is that the world will not wait for me. With sickness and death altering my life this semester, I have learned that life is short and should be lived to the fullest.