With the continuation of social distancing and quarantine measures, Fordham students are still adjusting to their new normal of life at home. Taking online classes from our childhood bedrooms has led us to confront a memory many of us would prefer to forget: our high-school selves.
Whether they live in the dorms on campus, have an off-campus apartment or have a commute, every student is grappling with the immense changes to their daily lives and routines. Students from out of state have traveled the long way home. Commuters have lost that separate and independent side of their lives that is so vital. Students who lived on campus are remembering what it’s like not to live with roommates or be surrounded by so many peers in their buildings.
With online classes, sometimes we don’t feel like college students at all.
In fact, living our daily lives at home has led some to feel a bit of a regression to the past versions of ourselves. This regression manifests in different ways. It affects our relationships with our parents and siblings and may explain the recent texts to and from old friends that you have grown apart from since graduating high school.
It is not just college students who are feeling this regression. The COVID-19 quarantine has perhaps given us just too much time with our thoughts, and we are left wondering what happened to those we used to be close with in the past. Recent articles have poked fun at this trend, with an article from The Tab even noting the “expandemic” of former flames reaching out during quarantine hoping to reconnect.
Given the uncertainty and anxiety of current times, reaching out to old friends or romantic partners who once provided security is understandable. Humans are social creatures — we are not meant to spend this much time isolated from others.
However, college students, in particular, are faced with a troubling dilemma. When we begin our first year of college, we make the decision, whether consciously or not, to leave behind much of our high-school identities. This process is not always immediate, but it is unavoidable.
While reaching out to friends we have lost touch with can be good for us, it is important to be mindful of why we are reaching out to certain people. And, perhaps even more importantly, to remind ourselves why we lost touch.
High-school friends are not always lost merely because of the physical distance that college brings. At the same time we split up geographically and grow into people our freshman-year selves likely would not even recognize.
When we try to reconnect with old friends or partners, we are sometimes hoping to find that lost part of ourselves too. A time of such isolation and loneliness in a hometown is the perfect motivation for this.
While it is essential to stay in touch with others right now, it is probably doing more harm than good to reach out to someone you have not spoken with since high school. Instead, try to use this time to reconnect with your loved ones, whether it be family members at home or friends from high school, or even earlier, whom you do enjoy spending time with.
It is hard to feel like we have lost much of the progress we made at Fordham in regard to our own personal growth. The trials and tribulations that college brings often shape us into more mature individuals, but they also reveal new paths for ourselves that we may have not imagined when we were 16.
As we continue to wade through the uncertainty, we must be mindful of who we are now. The progress we have made has not been lost. We will continue to grow during this period as well. Progress will look different now. So, redecorate your rooms, call your friends from Fordham and remember that the person you are at home is the same person you are at school, even when it may be hard to believe.
The Fordham community will continue to be connected no matter what. We all share this common experience, and you can ask any alumni: No matter how long you have been away from Fordham, you will never forget the impact it has made.