Student Life, Word on the Y

Word (off) the Y: How has your life been under physical distancing?

As life has been turned upside down, Associate Provost (Teaching and Academic Programs) Christopher Buddle and the Student Life team of The McGill Tribune share their outlook on this unprecedented period in history, as well as what they are looking forward to when this crisis passes. 

Miguel Principe; Student Life Editor

Three weeks ago, I was stressed about [things] my future such as writing exams, finding a gap-year job, and applying to grad school in the following year. With the coming months looking uncertain, I am trying my best to just appreciate what I have, especially compared to what those on the frontline don’t, most importantly, the ability to stay at home and be with my family . Being in my final year at McGill, I’m disappointed to see Convocation and Grad Ball cancelled and that I never got to say a proper goodbye to McGill and Montreal. When all of this is over, I can’t wait to throw away all notions of physical distancing and give my friends the biggest damn hug and just hang out inside a café. 

Alaana Kumar; Staff Writer

When it became apparent that self-isolation was the only way forward, my sister and I headed home to Ontario. For the first time in years, my immediate family is under the same roof outside of the holiday season. Although the situation can be scary, we are doing our best to appreciate this extra time together. We are keeping busy with puzzles, board games, books, movies, journaling, drawing, and of course, school and work. Saying goodbye to my graduating friends in Montreal was incredibly difficult and seeing their graduation cancelled was heartbreaking. Regardless, I’m so proud of all that they have accomplished and I look forward to seeing them soon. In tough times, I like to remind myself how lucky we are. Thank you to our health workers, paramedics, essential service employees and scientists. We appreciate you!

Catherine Morrison; Staff Writer

When I first found out about McGill going online due to the pandemic, I wasn’t too worried. I knew I would be able to manage the new style of learning and complete all of my exams and essays. Plus, I was still on track to graduate. However, being a graduating student, I felt devastated by how quickly four years would come to an end. Having to cancel events that I had planned all year long with student groups and learning about the potential cancellation of convocation made me feel hopeless. However, with time, as well as a couple of wine nights with my mom, I have learned to cope with the strange sense of loss that I have been feeling. Rather than allowing myself to dwell on what has been lost, I’m trying to focus on the great things to come in the future.

Scott Kennedy; Staff Writer

At first, I felt really disheartened. This is my final year, and I was looking forward to spending time with my friends, saying my goodbyes to people, and having that one last hoorah of walking out of an exam room and ending up at OAP. Now I’ve accepted what’s going on and am constantly reminding myself that there are some people around the world, even in this country, who do not have the same luxury of being able to safely quarantine. At the moment, my family and I seem to be keeping ourselves busy, but we are still finding time to spend time together. I was definitely sad to see the Grad Ball shut down, because, if I might be so bold, I had a pretty good fit planned. I’m looking forward to seeing my friends, as well as what my post-undergrad future holds. On a broader note, I look forward to seeing how we are able to come back from this historical period and the extent to which the pandemic will inform the way we move forward.

Christopher Buddle, Associate Provost (Teaching and Academic Programs)

Everything has changed in two weeks, and while it’s very scary in many ways, and raises a lot of worry and anxiety, it’s also given me so much hope for McGill and for our community [….] Personally, my work days are very full given my position in senior administration […] but for fun, I have been learning the banjo, and finding a bit of time to work on that. However, I can’t say that hobby is being enjoyed by everyone in our house. [Cancelling convocation is] very sad for our graduating students, although it was the right decision. Though, I know there will be other ways that we will commemorate the graduating class, there is something so special about seeing the big tent on Lower Field. [Overall,] I’m looking forward to seeing students, my colleagues, and friends in person! While it is great to be able to use videoconferencing, it’s just not the same.

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