while 2020 has ended and 2021 has taken on its face, reflecting on how far we’ve come is important. to be honest, i have no more faith in this year than i did the last. while i’m getting ready to turn 20 in march, i have been thinking about my growth during my time at the university. it’s really hard to imagine much of any grand milestones, especially since my freshman year was ripped in half due to covid and i’ve been under lockdown in my apartment ever since. i feel upset and angry when i think about my lack of a “real college experience” on campus in east quad, in dining halls, in lecture halls.

but even though i can’t feel as safe as i used to right now, and even though it’s difficult to believe that i have done my best in “making the most” of my college years, i still find moments when i am able to appreciate the fact that the person i am today has learned so much since the first time i physically set foot on campus. i’ve made friends and grown apart from others. i’ve cried, vomited, and laughed. i’ve had fun and had days that i would rather forget. i’ve been embarrassed. i’ve felt guilt and shame. i’ve performed on stages, gotten involved in organizations, won a hopwood award for my poetry, and learned and developed a more compassionate and complex view of the world and myself. i’ve found love. i’ve found depression. i’ve found warmth and art and i’ve felt winters that have stayed long after its snow melted.

i have a better understanding of how i want to live my life in this moment, but that understanding has also brought great uncertainty in my safety and my success. i’m black, queer, and trans. it’s been really hard to survive, but i also have felt great when experiencing the smallest things. sometimes, though, i feel nothing at all. i don’t know whether or not i’ll “make it”. but i also realize that there are more people in this world who are more scared than fearless in the face of reality. i take comfort in that. i’m lost and i’m sure that i’m lost.


detroit born & raised sophomore, non-binary, driven by the arts. 'waves' is being created so that its creator and (hopefully) readers may learn how to cope with- and navigate through a global pandemic together. check out my website

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4 Comments on "reflections"

1 month 2 days ago

Hi Smitty,
I’ve found myself also feeling slightly bitter about the loss of a “normal college experience,” and it was nice to read your poignant reflection. Thank you for sharing.

1 month 6 days ago

I really appreciate reading your thoughts. Happy to “hear” your voice again, smitty!