The past few days have given many of us time for reflection. Sitting in my apartment, I thought about my experience since beginning college. I’ve never had a hard time getting started, whether it be on a class assignment, business idea or whatever crazy thing I am focused on at a particular time. I am the type of person who has to push myself to finish things. For me, the final 10% sometimes takes as much effort as the first 90%.
In the course of a week, plans in the works for months, whether it be the job search, grad school, spring break trips, or post-commencement brunches seem uncertain at best. Because of these challenges, for the Class of 2020 at Tulane and around the country, the final 10% of our college careers will take as much effort as the first 90%. We have to put in the work.
My thoughts teeter between worrying about my own personal health and agonizing about the health of the economy so many of us are about to enter. It’s exhausting. This seemingly never-ending string of bad news is compounded by the cruel irony of knowing it is best to stay away from each other at a time where we need each other’s presence more than ever.
Although it feels like we have no control over anything happening in the world, I believe one choice still exists for us. Our time as seniors will either be defined by this virus or the response to this virus. We can choose what the latter looks like. For each spontaneous conversation that would have happened on McAlister, we must pick up the phone and call a friend who’s forced to be several states away. For each club meeting where we would have praised our peers, we must celebrate the accomplishments of each other in group chats. We must balance our responsibility to society with our responsibility to our friends in need.
We must also realize that our Tulane experience, however unceremoniously it might end, cannot be defined by these last two months. We must ensure the relationships built and bonds formed over the past three and a half years are made stronger by our collective experience through this crisis. We must focus on what we can control, so let’s spend the next two months ensuring the people who have entered our lives over our time at Tulane know we love them. If we do this final 10% right, in a year, we may be closer than any Tulane class ever has been after graduating. But for now, stay 6-10 feet apart.