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What is Normal?

Life over the past year has been nothing short of crazy. One day we were sitting in on lectures, going to the gym, and attending parties with our friends. Come the next day, we were locked inside with no end to the pandemic in sight. It was a tragic and scary part of our lives in which we had no choice but to adapt. Now, most of us have adjusted to this new way of life. We moved the classroom into our bedrooms, the gym into our living rooms, and “parties’’ consist of hanging out with your parents and your dog.

However, with more and more COVID-19 vaccines being distributed every day, it’s safe to say that things are on track to getting back to normal. After over a year spent indoors, there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the pandemic. However, that light might trigger anxiety for some of us who got used to the new normal. Yet, now that most of us have adjusted, I’m comfortable with this new normal we have created.

Being a commuter student, prior to the pandemic I would wake up an hour and a half before class. Not only did I have a commute, but I also had to ensure a parking spot to get to class on time. Now, I can roll out of bed, throw on some comfortable clothes, and log onto class. Traffic is not an issue and I never miss a class now that it is so accessible.

In addition to easily logging onto class, working from home has proven to be successful for many people, including myself. Similar to lectures, employees simply roll out of bed and log onto their meetings via Google Meet or Zoom. With the work schedule being more flexible, any location can be your office. With being able to keep in touch more effectively, who would want to go back to the office?

Another important point that most of us probably have not thought about is the social anxiety that might have developed during lockdown. Let’s face it, it’s been months since we’ve been out to parties with friends. Since it has been so long, some of us might have forgotten how to socialize and interact with people in a public setting. Now that my daily routine consists of speaking to three to five people every day, I’m not sure how easy it will be for me to readjust to being around a lot of people. Staying inside feels more secure now, and going out seems risky.

Overall, I am not quite ready to go back to normal. I have adjusted to this new lifestyle that was forced upon us over a year ago. I have gotten comfortable with working from home, having a lot of time to myself, and skipping the hours of traffic to get to school or work. It is no doubt that I have adjusted to this new way of life. However, despite my introversion, it will be nice to finally break out of my shell and return to normal after so long.


PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University