Reflections: Life and COVID-19 – ilia mahns ’23

This COVID-19 semester at Vassar has been memorable for different reasons. So many things are different and there are a lot of anxious thoughts about everyone’s safety and the state of the world. It can feel suffocating at times because out of all the horrible things happening in the world, you are trapped in a bubble at Vassar. It is easy to lose touch with reality and feels almost like a dream. 

But memorable also in the sense that some of the most beautiful moments have emerged from one of the darkest points of my life. There are so many trees on campus and I feel like I have more time to connect with nature. There are so many amazing people here that I have been able to spend quality time with and have vulnerable conversations with. I feel like COVID-19 has affected everyone in different ways and degrees, so we are all just trying to go through it together.


Some local restaurants come onto campus and sell food in Noyes circle. I go get my chai latte at Crafted Kup every week with my friend. 

I also recently deleted all my social media with my friend. We decided to go on more walks to the farm and Sunday is our designated walk day. I found a spot by Sunset Lake that always has turtles sitting on a log. Pods have also been a great way to restimulate social life at Vassar. Those TH parties cannot compare to our pod parties! 😉 

Over this past summer in quarantine I did a Ford Scholars Project and spent a lot of time reflecting on my life. From this, I feel I was better able to grow and accept myself. Now being back on campus, my relationships have flourished and I have made close friendships with people I had never talked to last year. 

I am now a sophomore. If I could give my first-year self advice, I would say “Believe in yourself.” I went through a lot in my first year and had a rough quarantine. Being on campus can be triggering, but Vassar has given me a lot of support through Metcalf and SAVP (very important resources). We can all make it through. Be kind to yourself and surround yourself with people that give you all the love and support you deserve. 🙂

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