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BWW Blog: College and COVID - Will Things Ever Be the Same?

Though I am unsure of what the next school year may hold, I know things will only go uphill from here. ​​​​​​​

BWW Blog: College and COVID - Will Things Ever Be the Same?

As my second semester at the University of Pittsburgh carries on, I tend to reflect on what I have accomplished during these unprecedented times. Looking back to the start of the school year, I am astounded by the many things that have changed.

First, being that I was on campus in the fall living in a dorm with 6 other girls but this semester, choosing to stay home and do classes all online in my home in Maryland. This decision was not easy to say the least. Almost every student going into their first year of college expects it to be the best time of their life. But I knew my experience would be drastically different.

I spent the first months mostly in my dorm watching time tick by because I was limited to my activities with fear of spreading the coronavirus to other students and residents in Pittsburgh. My roommates and I did take advantage of the warmer weeks to sit outside and do work or grab lunch and dinner together. It was nice to go out and be a little active, but other days I never left my building.

Overall, I enjoyed having my own space and feeling like an adult for the first time. But the loneliness and feelings of being lost got to me. So, this semester, I chose to stay home. I knew I would miss the city itself and I would feel like I am missing out on my first-year experience, but the advantages to staying in Maryland outweighed the negative.

Those reasons included the finances, overall personal safety as well as a cure to my feelings of disconnect from my friends back home. I was not necessarily expecting to find my forever best friends at Pitt, and I was very satisfied with the overwhelmingly friendly students there, but I missed my friends at home.

What was so great about my friend group is that we all did theatre together at my high school. After everything got shut down almost a year ago, we made an unconscious pact to stay connected. Through group chats and the occasional hangout, staying very safe of course, I realized I missed that at college. Even while I was there, I would be in contact with them pretty much every day, but I never estimated the extent of seeing your friends in person and gathering to just live in the moment together.

It was very difficult to make friends on campus as there were not any in-person classes at first and students could not go into other student dorm buildings. Zoom calls in general are also not the most efficient ways to meet people, especially when they are dedicated to learning. I was able to connect with some people from my Introduction to Performance class, but things still felt off.

Another impact on my experience was the lack of in-person theatre. I had spent my whole high school career engaging and participating in the shows my school would put on, and it felt like something was missing. The university was able to hold a few virtual shows in the fall, which I auditioned for but was not cast, that I enjoyed watching but acting over Zoom is nowhere near the same. This semester there were a few more opportunities for some virtual and in-person productions but I was not casted either.

I am not super worried that I am missing out on theatrical opportunities because I try to look forward to the future and the rest of my four years at Pitt. I am keeping my head high, remembering that I am a part of the enormous number of first-year students that are in the same exact boat as me. Though I am unsure of what the next school year may hold, I know things will only go uphill from here.


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From This Author Student Blogger: Abigail Dobry