Opinion: Maybe I’ll Adapt To Feeling Unmotivated & Detached From Everything I Love About This Place
If you’d asked me a month ago about how I thought Spring Semester 2020 here at UI was going to go, I would have said something like “decent” or “fine.” Maybe even “normal.”
Yet here I am: a sluggish, nervous wreck alone in my apartment with two spring breaks in the bag and eight empty wine bottles in a different bag. But you know what, that’s just fine. I’ve already come to appreciate the little things about the quarantined college life; the apathy, the musty smells, the way that talking to my houseplants makes me realize they are inadequate substitutes for a lively campus.
My inbox is flooded with emails talking about “acclimation” and “adapting to changing circumstances,” and I’m beginning to think they’re on to something. Maybe I’ll adapt to feeling unmotivated and detached from everything I love about this place. This whole thing could be a catalyst for a new chapter in my life, one in which I learn to live with the aching desire to leave my apartment and throw rocks off a parking garage. Maybe this will be good for me.
Don’t let the bottomless pools of sadness welling up in my eyes fool you, because honesty, I’ve sort of grown fond of them. The way they sink down into my chest and make me feel like I’m drowning in something very sticky, the vague little jolts of anxiety—it’s all a part of an exciting new era here in Iowa City. An era of hollow, lazily written discussion board posts. An era of unemployment. An era of sweatpants I haven’t washed yet and probably won’t because nothing fucking matters anymore. If what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, then by the end of this thing, I’ll be ripped, despite every gym in America being closed.
“Never waste a good crisis” is another adage that’s been thrown around lately, and I’ve been finding ways to apply it to my own life situation. Example: since getting laid-off, I’ve had a lot of time on my hands, and have been filling it with various unfulfilling activities (showering, mainly). Since university facilities are no longer opened, I’ve finally found the time to sit and ponder about how much I took them all for granted. And boy oh boy, I have really gotten good at stacking empty pizza boxes and trying to reach out to my support network.
Who knows? Maybe graduating in the middle of a recession is the perfect time to do it. Good news is that if I can’t find a job, I’ll already be accustomed to sleeping in and watching Netflix all day.
Whatever happens, I think it’s safe to say that once we adjust to the crushing loneliness, this is going to end up being a fun story we all tell our kids.