It's weird to think that summer's over. Weirder still to think that an entire year has gone by and that I'm no longer a freshman. It's kinda sad, really, realizing that 25% of my college years are already behind me. Scary, even.
I could take this moment to lament how I lost half my first year (Spring and Summer) to COVID-19, which is 50% of my freshman year, an overall 12.5% of my college experience that I'll never get back. There's really a lot I could complain about.
Strange thing is, I don't really feel like it.
Now don't get me wrong. I really, really, miss Dartmouth. Heck, these past few weeks I've been inexplicably listening to "Take Me Home Country Roads" by John Denver daydreaming about the campus. I don't even like country music. (Yes, I know that West Virginia is in no ways related to New Hampshire. But I'm from the West Coast, so it's all the same to me).
So why do I not mind the remote situation? I think it has to do with impact.
Right now, on the shelf above me are two books. One is Boko Haram by Alexander Thurston and the other Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. The second book was given to me by a friend at Dartmouth for my birthday. I sent her a book for her birthday too! I'm Fine… and Other Lies by Whitney Cummings (though mine was signed, which means I win that gift exchange). The first I picked up at Dartmouth (among others). Even if we're separated, the people at Dartmouth are so kind and thoughtful that, even outside of semi-regular Zoom sessions to catch up, we try to make our presence felt in the real world too.
So even so far away, through the books and phone, I still feel Dartmouth's impact on me. And through the book I gave, and the research I do, in the small way I can, I feel like I'm impacting Dartmouth too. Even through a screen.