I am a freshman sitting in the Ellingson lounge, working on my homework and ruminating on this wild start to college. First semester was exciting, exhilarating and exhausting. Freshman fall is the chance to make friends, adjust to college classes and make a home on the hill. It was fast paced and anxiety producing and ended, at least for me, quickly.
Now being here a second semester, after a long break, there is a new feeling in the air. It’s like we all amazingly got through the first semester, had the longest break ever and now we have to do it all again. Spring semester is much tougher than I was expecting, and my mental health and the mental health of my peers is tanking.
I feel this collective COVID-19 fatigue wafting through the air. We’re hit with the cold of winter, continuous classes with no breaks (and yes, I know about the rest days, but that is most definitely not a break) and constant beratement of anxiety from COVID-19 related events and regulations. In addition to all of that, we have to face the intensity of what is happening in our country, and even closer, in Minneapolis.
Of course, there is so much I wish was different about this specific Olaf experience. I wish the college provided more: more resources for freshmen, more response to racism, more academic accommodations and simply more opportunity for thriving.
The world feels heavy to say the least, and we are all struggling to bear that weight both on our own, and collectively.
Caroline Peacore ’24 is from Pasadena, CA. Her major is race and ethnic studies.