Ending Second Year on a Whimper

by Mi Chelle Cheah

When 2020 started, I was full of hope and determination, to do better academically and to do better mental health-wise. I wrote down my new year's resolutions and was keen on having a good year. Flash forward to six months later, I'm in my university room packing up, devoid of the feeling of accomplishment you'd expect after finishing a year of university. Posters strewn over the floor, stacks of books scattered in various spots, suitcases open and ready, I prepare to move my belongings into my third-year house and prepare for my flight back to Malaysia for summer. 

I was excited to watch more live theatre, to get involved in more volunteering, to bolster my CV and put myself in a better position for life after graduation. The pandemic put a halt to all of those plans entirely, changing every aspect of life as I knew it. Although I've managed to complete the second year of my degree with satisfactory grades, I feel physically and mentally drained. I'm excited to see my family, but also I dread the nerve-wracking flight home and the fact that there seems to be no end to this pandemic. I mentally prepare myself for the fact that I may be taking the final year of my undergrad as well as my masters largely online whilst the pandemic sweeps across the globe.