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BWW Blog: Looking Towards the Future in a Pandemic

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A week ago, NYU Tisch Drama announced that my classes would be online for the fall semester. The university itself was still going to be open, just Drama at the moment, was online. My heart was immediately crushed by my sudden reality but part of me always knew this would happen. It was only a matter of time before New Studio on Broadway went remote for the semester. I struggled as my friends shared their plans of deferment and plans to stay home for the year. I practically laughed when I got the email from our head cause I just had no idea what to do. I didn't accept it for a few days but then it hit real hard. I would have to do zoom university once again. I completely understand the reasoning and honesty was expecting it sooner, but it still was hard. I had just given myself permission to be excited about the thought of the coming school year when it all came crashing down again. I had a really hard couple of days, trying to come up with plan A-Z of what my year could look like.

Navigating mental health in the middle of a pandemic is a sentence I never knew I would ever say, let alone try to do. To say I've been struggling a lot these past few months just with everything was an understatement. In a general sense, my anxiety is rooted in when I feel I don't have a sense of control in any sort of situation (A career in the performing arts??? Ok sis). The pandemic is/was my biggest nightmare. Anything could happen at any day: the world could end, a vaccine could be found, anything and everything. In the beginning, I had figured this would be a three week thing and I would go back to school. At every email, my hopes would be crushed. I found myself unable to get excited at anything right now. After many talks with my therapist, I realized that I had been living my life in a middle ground. The peaks and valleys of living in a pandemic had taken its toll on me and I was exhausted. I didn't get my hopes up anymore as to not get hurt but at the same time, I never let myself sink as I was afraid of feeling that devastation. But after time, I realized that this itself was exhausting me and wasn't a way to live my life, pandemic and all.

It's the end of July and I'm finally letting myself get excited about things again. Whether that be getting my favorite dinner, the Bachelor, a zoom call with my friends or the thought of returning to New York. I had struggled with the decision of doing zoom university in my home in Maryland but in case the chance of a return in the spring, I knew the best option was going to New York. Through the help of my best friend and our moms, we found a practically perfect apartment and within a week, we had signed the lease.

The time has come. I'm officially and finally moving to New York City in an apartment. It's a scary feeling, I have no idea how the city actually is until I see for myself, I'm quite stubborn. But suddenly, there was something bigger going on. There was a path, a light. New York has always been and always will be my safe place. When I signed that lease, something clicked inside of me. I was excited. I was looking forward to something that wasn't 2 days away. I now thought of a month or two in advance because I had given myself room to acknowledge how I was feeling. I was scared. I am scared. But I know I have to go back. I wouldn't be me if I didn't. I am incredibly fortunate to be going back to my college with my favorite people in the world, whether we're countries or 2 blocks away from each other.

Till now, I spend the days working and searching for art to put in my apartment. My etsy account has had a list called "my apartment" for almost 5 years where I've been compiling random shmotta I've always wanted. Some of it is quite old, but I finally am seeing my dreams of my New York City apartment getting played out.

Life is pandemonium right now. Navigating a pandemic was a skill that we all had to develop insanely quick and I don't think this is going to be over anytime soon. I am grateful for the university for putting the teacher's needs very high and putting everyone's health as the first priority. I'm moving forward and up in my life, despite there being a pandemic, cause I have found the chutzpah to keep going.

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From This Author Student Blogger: Annie Coulson