Sam Haga

"I had pictured the spring of my freshman year of college differently. Discussing Renaissance poetry over Zoom doesn’t quite feel Shakespearean."
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Sam Haga, an H-B Woodlawn graduate, now a student at Kenyon College, at home in Arlington

I’ve heard almost every name for this. Lockdown. Social distancing. Quarantine.

Coronacation is perhaps the most tasteless of the bunch.

A lot of my friends simply call it “the end of the world.”

While the world certainly is not permanently ending as we know it, this period of isolation is not without its fair share of hardships for all of us.

As a college freshman, my move-out day came two months early—accompanied by plenty of tears, and my mom and me getting caught in a flash flood on our 7-hour drive back to Arlington from Kenyon College in Ohio. (True story—our car sank six feet!)

I had pictured the spring of my freshman year differently. Studying outdoors on the quad. Hiking at our school’s gorgeous nature center. Celebrating the end of the semester with our school’s annual “Summer Sendoff”—which I’ve heard consists of a swarm of college students over-eagerly making their final memories to the soundtrack of a live concert while caked in mud and sweat. Sounds like a dream, right?

It’s been a tough transition, coming home prematurely, where I’m tucked away next to now-sleepy Westover Village. My twin sister, who is also home from college and facing so-called distance learning for the rest of the semester, is in the same boat.

My brother, a student at Washington-Liberty High School, is also taking online courses. He’s gearing up for his spring break next week. The irony of that does not escape him.

I’m not over the moon about the seemingly illogical combination I’m now facing of total boredom and lots of online homework. Discussing Renaissance poetry over Zoom doesn’t quite feel Shakespearean.

However, I’m keeping it all in perspective. My experience thus far has been water under the bridge (no flash-flood related pun intended), compared to so many others across the world whose lives are being irreversibly changed by this pandemic.

I’m trying to make a very conscious effort to practice gratitude over the truly important stuff—like my family still having a source of income, being safe, etc.—while finding ways to stay busy during the day. Exercise, FaceTime and baking have become my new best friends.

Plus, my dog is very happy to have me home for these next five months.

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Categories: Covid Chronicles