Feeling all of the Feels

This past week, the question I was asked most frequently was, “How does it feel being back on campus?” Everyone is looking for one answer, but I don’t think it is that simple. Typically, I have responded with, “Its good,” but that’s not the truth. I really want to tell people I feel all the feels. That just one feeling is not enough. 

It feels great to be back on campus. The one familiarity that I am fortunate to have is knowing where everything is. I can see my friends in person, interact with my professors, and have a somewhat normal life. The sad truth is that the underclassmen do not have the same experience. Attending classes  may seem boring to some, but being able to interact with people is an opportunity I would have killed for a year ago. 

Normal life. I don’t think that will ever be a thing again. Today’s normal is completely different from the normal life of 2019. Wearing masks inside is not the worst thing to happen to us, but it also isn’t fun. I will not sit here and say that everything is great, but it is a whole lot better than before. 

Patience does not seem to be a trait I possess anymore. Sitting in a classroom for longer than a half hour is almost impossible. I get fidgety and feel like my body will explode if I don’t move.. Mask breaks have become the regular for three-hour classes and standing outside the building in the middle of class to get air is the equivalent to going to the bathroom. 

I also feel this great sense of being overwhelmed. I feel like there is so much to do and so little time.  I decided to fill my plate well beyond what one may deem possible. Taking six classes, interning, working, staying involved on campus, and maintaining friendships can be a lot.  I enjoy the challenge of staying busy, but I am afraid I might have taken on more than I can handle. 

The start of this semester is almost like starting over. It feels like a new place, a new life. I can choose to be someone new, reinvent myself, or introduce myself exactly as I am. It’s funny how being in a place that is all so familiar can feel like being lost somewhere new. One has to reintroduce themselves to people and places. Sophomores and freshmen have never really been on campus or experienced campus life. Seeing how many people are disoriented and lost when it comes to finding classes is crazy to me. 

Living on campus now is a lot different than when I was a freshman. In your own private room, you do not need to wear a mask, but once you step into the hallway you do. That has to be one of the strangest things to me. How do you make friends when you can only see half their faces? Giving a name a face is nearly impossible, as you only see eyes.

It is nice to be on campus again and have a sense of independence, but at the same time it can be lonely. You no longer have to hear that you are up too late; no one is going to tell you what you can and cannot do. You make your own schedules and choices. One thing I learned from living on campus is that my choices are my own, but so are the consequences. 

Explaining what I am feeling in one word would be wrong, because it can’t be wrapped up in a bow and presented to the public. I am excited, but I am also afraid because my time at Monmouth is coming to an end and I don’t want to face that. These years have been some of the best and worst years of my life, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.