The day starts minutes before our first class at 8 a.m.; we wake up just barely five minutes before class rushing to gather ourselves for the next few hours of Zoom classes. We find ourselves, once again, staring at a bright computer screen, with a feeling of disconnect from real life.
We go on to the next few classes, maybe one at 9 a.m or another at 10 a.m. As we click from one meeting to another, we cannot help but wonder how we ended up here. Maybe we are looking for someone to blame; but, no matter what conclusion we come to, we go on with the rest of our Zoom meetings.
At our lunch break we open Snapchat, only to see our “memories” from the last three years. One year ago today: Gunnery vs. Canterbury hockey game. Two years ago today: formal advisor lunch with your closest friends. Three years ago today: skiing in Lake Placid. For some, these little memories are a disappointment because of how the world changed since. For others, these memories can’t even affect us because of a numbness of which we are not aware.
After a short lunch break in which we long to be outside on campus in the warm weather again, we gather for some meeting we try to find enthusiasm for. Even though so many are trying to reach this feeling, it isn’t easy when all we feel is disconnected. The only time we feel an element of understanding for one another is when we think about how we’re all going through the same situation.
We think about the last two classes of the day knowing that we can barely get by with two more hours on Zoom; but, we didn’t give 72 hour notice so we know we have to go. We sit in front of our laptops, our blue-light glasses wearing off because of how long we’ve stared at a computer screen, we take no information in because of our distractions.
Shortly after classes, often with no transition, we start our homework. Sometimes the workload is too much, but we don’t know if we can say anything because maybe it’s just us feeling this way. Our mind begins to wander and then we imagine all the “highschool” experiences we missed out on. While these thoughts conquer our mind, there is still a voice fighting for us to remain hopeful for maybe a little bit of normalcy.
The worst part of it all is knowing that with every change, our stomach gets even more upset because we long for stability. We know it isn’t anyone’s fault and we know the world cannot just be “normal” because it’s our senior year and honestly, we know there are people with problems so much bigger in the world it makes us look insignificant. However, deep down, “zoom fatigue” breaks us down and causes real pain.
Finally, we go to sleep, much later than we would like to admit because we don’t want our teachers to think it’s our fault we struggle with the workload. We fall asleep only to realize we feel trapped in a never ending schedule.