• Addison Aloian

Back to School: NYU Fall Thoughts & Plans

My thoughts on NYU's fall plan and the coming months.

Well, here we are guys.

We made it through arguably the weirdest summer of our lives (if you’ve had a weirder summer than this one, I’d love to hear about it).

No matter where you were living, whether in the US or not, or in your home state or not, it’s been difficult for everyone. From time to time we all experienced the same feelings of doubt, loneliness, and disappointment about the current state of the world.

But hopefully those feelings are slowly vanishing as we’re back in our favorite city to take on a strange but exciting few months.

Even though this semester won’t be normal by any means, it’s comforting to at least be back in New York and know we’ll see the familiar faces of our friends soon. Hopefully, this is the beginning of the return to some kind of normality.

During the summer, I dealt with the stress of COVID by not really processing information, which is very very out of character for me (I am a HUGE planner). So, yeah, the quarantine putting life on pause really threw me for a loop – I literally couldn’t plan anything or think about the future whatsoever.

But deep down, I think I knew it was best to repress all thoughts related to COVID and the future because it would’ve led to me overthinking everything, and therefore, stressing about everything. And we all know stress doesn’t help achieve anything, right?

Needless to say, I was relieved when NYU eventually revealed their final fall class formats mid-July so that I could at least start thinking about what I wanted to do.

I was disappointed to find out that half of my classes would be remote and half would be blended since my majors, Recorded Music and Journalism, are both very hands-on and in need of specific physical spaces, but I was grateful considering some of my friends only had online classes.

At first, I was really considering taking a gap year. Having half-online classes would be a waste, and what if the city shut down mid-semester anyway and I had to go home again?

Then, I considered staying home, taking online classes to give my life some sort of structure, and postponing the in-person courses I would’ve taken to next semester.

Eventually, I changed my mind completely.

After speaking to peers and getting perspective on the situation, I decided that because blended classes could be worth it, I missed my friends, and I desperately wanted to be in the city, that I had to return. And I feel super grateful that I’m able to do that.

Plus, I knew I’d still have extracurricular responsibilities within my sorority and school newspaper, so I have legitimate reasons to return in addition to my occasional in-person class meetings. I knew I’d have to take the risk and see what happened.


So, now I’m back in New York, spending a lot of down time reflecting on this semester, and honestly, it is easy to overthink and get scared about the virus and what it could potentially do to the city again.

Many people think NYC is going to shut down again soon, and NYU has already revealed to its professors (but not to its students yet, of course) that if we are planning on traveling home for Thanksgiving, that we should plan to stay home and finish classes online.

But if I learned anything from last semester, it’s that everything can change within seconds, so there’s no use worrying about what could happen three months from now. There’s no better time to start practicing living in the present, right?

Even though it’s going to be a weird semester and we all might feel isolated at times, we will get to spend time with ourselves and really reflect on who we are and what we want.

Use this time to discover how to become the best version of yourself. Whenever I feel sad, I try to get perspective – and I think that that’s the best way to look at the inevitable things this situation could bring. Some good could come from this.

After all, as NYU students we still get to inhabit the coolest city ever and live unbeatable experiences that we wouldn’t get anywhere else. The best thing we can do is take this semester one day at a time and trust that eventually, things will work out.

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© 2020 Addison Aloian