I have not been out of Poughkeepsie for 6 months now, starting from January when I didn’t even know what the word “quarantine” means (yeah as a non-native English speaker I don’t have a huge range of vocabulary and I still have trouble spelling this word correctly). Time flies fast when we are staying in the same place. However, after the initial panic and worry, I have now found a way to spend my time peacefully and happily here at Vassar.
During the summer, I get to watch movies or shows that I have been craving to watch for a semester. I get to read books that have been sitting on my desk for months while I never have time to finish them. When I am reading or watching, I feel temporarily taken out of my own life, and I have the opportunity to experience other people’s joys and tears. They make me understand myself and the world better. When the sun sets, sometimes I would go downstairs to the parlor to play the piano, putting all of my emotions into the music I am performing. As an introvert, I enjoy taking a break from constant social interactions and really spending time with myself.
The summer is a good time to reconnect with friends and family. When the weather is good, I would take walks with my Vassar friends, talking about how their semester has been and concerns about the future. I cook dinner with some of my Chinese friends every week and it has been so much fun. We can’t stop laughing at each other’s jokes and no one wants to leave the table after everyone has finished eating. We cooperate and experiment with different dishes and ingredients, turning the Strong kitchen into a place full of laughter and memories. I also spend a lot of time video chatting with my friends and family back home in Beijing. Since I can’t physically be there with them this summer, I would still love to hear updates on every aspect of their lives.
It is important to keep in heart all the problems and sufferings brought by COVID, to do what we need to do to keep each other safe and to think about what we can do in the future to make the world a better place with fewer problems. But at times, it is also important to forget about the pandemic and think of now purely as a time for relaxation, meditation, and reconnection. So that when the sun rises every day, I know another beautiful and meaningful day awaits, and I know I will have the energy to do work when the fall semester starts and students come back again.