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Monday, Dec 11, 2023

Katelyn Mei '22 in Brooklyn, New York

Katelyn Mei '22

Brooklyn, New York

Submitted April 1, 2020

The day I left Midd, it was raining the whole morning. The sun, surprisingly, came out in the afternoon. It was warm, with an adequate level of moisture. I went to take a walk at the Knoll, expecting to memorize everything from the view so it could remain in my head. No longer was the lawn covered by the snow. A fresh green color started to show. As everything revived, spring came.

Yet this year we are missing it — spring at Midd. I know, for every one of us, spring is not just a season, but also the time we hang out with our friends, the time we spend learning face-to-face from our professors, and time we pour ourselves into the activities we are passionate about. For the first time, I wasn't excited about returning home, not because I didn’t miss it but because I was leaving another. Middlebury has become my second home. 

Returning to Brooklyn in the middle of a semester — and in the middle of an outbreak — was surreal until the view of New York City appeared in front of me. As I read stories about the struggles people are going through in hospitals and the contributions individuals are making to help, I feel a roller coaster of emotions, cycling through feelings of sadness and dread and hope within seconds. And as the number of positive tested cases rises dramatically, my fear of loss intensifies, especially when my dad still has to go to work on a daily basis. Constantly, my mom takes every sanitizing measure she learned from others to minimize her concerns and anxiety. Neither my dad nor my mom is in great health, which worries me, along with the fact that there is little I can do to prepare for the worst case. Living under social distancing guidelines is difficult because I don’t know how others are doing, including my peers and professors from Middlebury. Because of this, I am trying to reach out to friends and families, building more emotional connections while we're apart.

In the midst of all these challenges, we are engaging in remote learning away from Middlebury, for which many of us may not yet be ready. But no matter where we are, I believe we are trying our best to adapt as Midd Kids.

N.M. Sanchez, one of my favorite writers, shared a post that I found very empowering and I would like to share it here:

"One thing is certain: when we leave this place of uncertainty and return to the places we often visited, adore, and hold dear to our hearts- we will be prepared to love, again (fiercely, effortlessly) through a different lens, to see the beauty in the things we once overlooked, to become curious observers of our surroundings, to ask questions, to practice selflessness, to lend out hands in rebuilding a world we are proud of."

We'll be back.