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  • Lotus Magazine MC

yours truly, cari

I’m not really one for diary entries. I’ve tried, but writing down thoughts usually comes easier to me when it’s via text message to a friend rather than on a page that cannot offer insight. But, as most people did, I struggled heavily at the start of COVID - and then proceeded to struggle with the guilt that came along with expressing frustration, boredom and fatigue when there were people losing loved ones at such an intense rate. So I turned to a blank page that may not offer insight, but also couldn’t show judgment. And I kept it throughout the strangest sophomore year in history. Here's the recap:

My first semester at Manhattan was not ideal. I was trying to find my footing in a new place, on a new team, and figuring out if my major was really what I wanted to do with my life. But, by the beginning of the Spring semester, I was thriving. My team was preparing for our National Competition, I had found my place in our friend group, and I was given a leadership role on the Quadrangle. Two weeks before we were leaving for our competition, I was falling over at practice, incredibly sick and nobody knew what was wrong. A week later the entire school was sent home for the Coronavirus. So, while it’s never been confirmed, I’m sure it was COVID.

A few months into quarantine, when two weeks had turned into 5 months and it seemed as though New York City would never be the same, I decided to transfer schools. I didn’t tell my college friends until I had already embarked on the 14-hour drive to a southern university, where I was certain I was escaping COVID. And for the most part I did. Masks were still required for most public spaces, but events were still happening and people weren’t scared to be near one another. I had fun rushing a sorority, getting a job at their school paper and making new friends, but ultimately decided I wasn’t where I was supposed to be. So, on add/drop day I dropped all of my classes, bought two huge suitcases from TJ Maxx, called my parents, and got on the next flight to New Jersey.

I don’t regret going. In fact, I think sometimes you have to learn what you’re not to figure out what you are. And it taught me to be present in each moment instead of dwelling on what I don’t have.

After a confusing sophomore year, I’m determined to get back to my life’s regularly scheduled programming. I’m back to doing the things that made me happy. I’m on the dance team at Manhattan again, taking on leadership roles at the Quadrangle, Lotus and Her Campus (my holy trinity), and am realizing that while New York might never be exactly the same, it’s still where I’m supposed to be.


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