My mother has always told me I’m allowed to be an English major, but I’m not allowed to become a teacher. As a senior studying creative writing and literature, I haven’t strayed far from the world I grew up in — one where education was a daily topic of discussion.
It was summer when I got my first job. I was sixteen, the age at which a parent harps on the need for responsibility, for time to be spent wisely. In my hometown — Holland, Mich. — farms with plentiful crops cover the town in patches, all ripe with job opportunities.
Walking briskly to my French class to escape the Michigan chill, I savor the blinding morning sun and let the autumn breeze tangle my hair as I weave through the bottlenecks of people in Angell Hall to arrive at my first class just a little bit early.
I’ve been settling recently. I’ve settled into a new home. I’ve settled into a new routine. I’ve settled into a global pandemic. I watch as my friends and family seem to do the same. The mention of “COVID-19” sounds like the name of an estranged relative my family likes to gossip about.
On Tuesday of Welcome Week this year, I had dinner alone on my porch. The house I had moved into just a few days earlier was still uncomfortably hot, so I fled to the cool breeze and quiet murmur of the street.