Reflections on Community First: One Week In

Recently, some of my friends received a harsh consequence as a result of breaking Community First: The CARITAS Commitment. When I found out more about the circumstance, I was shocked, sad and angry. I know these kids; they weren’t going about their night with any sort of ignorance or arrogance. They are smart people. They are good people, but they made a mistak, and now they’re dealing with harsh consequences.

I festered for a night, thought about what, if anything, I could do to help — anything to call attention to the unfairness I saw in the situation, but the more I thought about it, the more conflicted I felt, and I finally came to this conclusion.

We all feel robbed. We all were robbed. From the loss of a loved one to not being able to see one’s friends for months, nobody got through the pandemic untouched. With such a feeling of injustice comes a desire for reconciliation. 

Why shouldn’t we get to take back the missing time? Why can’t we make the most of the time we finally have? How can we be expected to be living in a way so close to normalcy without actually experiencing it? We’re just kids who miss normal life. 

But we all feel that way, and we don’t all get to just take back what was lost now. There is still a global pandemic. The truth is none of us will get that lost time back. For now, all we can (and should) do is try to keep ourselves and others safe.

This isn’t a groundbreaking realization, I know. I spent my summer frustrated with how people were going about quarantine, confused as to how they couldn’t just do the right thing. But being back on campus, with everything just as we left it before getting sent home, I expected things should be normal. As I’m sure many others felt, the longingness for what life used to be intensified, which meant the realization I couldn’t have it hurt even more.

Recognizing that my anger was really sadness and disappointment has brought some peace. However, the school is working to keep us safe so we can stay on campus. It’s not the same, but we’re here and we have each other. 

Longing for what’s missing and trying to take back the time will only lead to disappointment. We can’t change the situation we’re in, so we’ve got to make the best of it and work to make the future better.