In March of 2020, I left campus as a student for the very last time. Of course, I didn’t know it would be the last time. If I had known, I would have walked through the courtyards for a little bit longer. I would have finished my assignments in the library’s atrium instead of at home. I would have stayed in the classroom to chat with my peers for just a few extra minutes. I would have walked over to Riverfront and talked to my friends in the housing office one more time. And of course, I would have stayed in the Writing Center until they forced me to go home.
Looking back on this past year and a half, I find it difficult to remember what life used to be. I’m forgetting the sleepy, dreamy state of sitting through a morning lecture with coffee close at hand. The panicked, overwhelmed temperament that I would fall into just before an exam or big presentation doesn’t feel so tangible anymore. I no longer recall just which classes were my favorites, back when I was actually able to walk into a classroom. I sincerely hope that no other students will have to experience the heartbreak of leaving campus behind in those final, fleeting moments of some of the best years of their lives. However, I get a second chance to experience a slice of campus life.
This fall, I will be able to return to the Marian E. Wright Writing Center as a tutor. I get another opportunity to wander through the stacks in the library, and take a walk through French Hall on my lunch break. Although I do not think it will be the same as when I was a student, I hope the university will welcome me back with open arms. This past year has been a roller coaster of loss and missed chances, but unlike so many, I get to remember what it feels like to come home for just a little while longer. Savor all of these brilliant moments while you can, and I may be biased, but I think spending some time in the Writing Center is just what some of us need. Appointment or not, come visit us in the Writing Center this fall! We look forward to seeing everyone again soon.