The Never-Ending, Break-Neck Speed Semester

Dear Diary,

During the summer all I could think about was how much I wanted classes to begin, I had grown so bored of the monotony of quarantine and just wanted a hint of normalcy back in my life that returning to classwork and retuning to my assistantship would bring. But that normalcy never came. Nothing about any of this is normal, despite what the higher-ups are trying to convince us of. While I thought that I would be able to enjoy some parts of this semester, it has honestly been the hardest semester of Grad school and of my academic career. All of the professors, in an attempt to make things have some sense of normalcy, have overshot and are assigning an absurd amount of homework and projects. It feels as if there is absolutely no acknowledgement of the impact this global pandemic is having mentally on students, apart from the occasional administrative email of “we’re here for you.” In the throws of an election year, where my rights as a queer person are up on the chopping block, how am I expected to perform normally? I’m a 4.0 student, love to write and do research, and will happily throw myself into unknown realms of academia just for the experience. But how can I do this when my sheer existence, my right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are in question starting from the very top? It feels as though this semester will never end, but then I look at the unbelievable amount of assignments I have due within 3 weeks and I am reassured that this semester is coming to an end at break-neck speed. I wish any that read this the will to continue, to do your best, and to know that you are not alone. If you do not do well this semester, that’s okay. It’s not your fault. You did everything you could and that’s enough. You are enough.