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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

Are you nervous about returning to normal life?

Retreat+members+enjoy+Kairos+CLVI+in+February+2020.+Many+wonder+when+we+will+be+back+to+normal+again.+%28Photo+from+Gonzaga+Flickr%29
Retreat members enjoy Kairos CLVI in February 2020. Many wonder when we will be back to “normal” again. (Photo from Gonzaga Flickr)

It has now been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began. A year of isolation, quarantining, masks and the constant chatter about the virus. It has been at the center of our lives for so long, we’ve heard about it every single day. With the vaccine coming out and a light at the end of the tunnel, the question must be asked: are you nervous about returning to normal life?

Personally, I have some reservations about returning to normal life, but I am more excited than anything. I want to have the best possible college experience, and with COVID-19, I’m not sure if that will be possible. If we are still faced with the burden of the virus at that time, I know it won’t be a life-altering problem because I know I can still have fun. I have done my entire senior year of high school with all kinds of restrictions and challenges, so I know I am no stranger to adjustment. I learned how to handle being at home most days, distancing myself from others while on campus, and to still be in touch with others while online. I still had a great time this year, and I know there is still more fun to come. 

The Laramie Project performed by the Gonzaga Dramatic Association. (Photo from Gonzaga Flickr)

My most pressing concern about returning to normal life is that it won’t be the normal life I remember. There are so many unknowns about the virus and vaccine still, like will it come back? Will we have to continue to wear masks? I think there will be a new normal,so there will be more adjustments on the way. Again, we are no strangers to adjustment, but the constant need for it is becoming tiring. 

The new normal will include challenges we don’t even know about yet, which scares me. I have to keep reminding myself that I can only control the present, and what happens in the future is out of my control. When the time comes for the new normal, we will face it head on and learn. 

Overall, returning to normal life is going to be great. Going to restaurants, being with friends, going to dances, attending sporting events and doing all kinds of big group activities. It will be strange, no doubt, but so enjoyable at the same time. After a tough year for a lot of people, the liberation of post-pandemic life will be euphoric. A lot of  joy will be going around, which I think is something this country desperately needs now more than ever.

So, am I nervous about returning to normal life? Yes. Of course. I believe everybody is. However, am I excited to see how human beings work together to adapt to the new normal? Yes, that, too. It will take all of us to figure this new normal out, and with a little teamwork, we can conquer it. The new normal will be unprecedented, but I have full confidence that human beings will win in the end. 

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