Spring semester confessionals

These students faced hardships these past four months. Here are some of their most questionable moments

ILLUSTRATION: Marissa Ouyang /The Peak

By: Nancy La, Alex Masse, and Jacob Mattie

Attention, adulation, and validation

By: Alex Masse

The mortifying ordeal of being known, am I right? And through a shoddy, washed-out webcam by a bunch of strangers all at once? Yeah, really not my scene. I got tired of people I’ll probably never meet in-person seeing me mid-quarantine around the end of last semester. I do not want to be perceived in my pyjamas.

But, see, I had a dilemma: I love attention, adulation, and validation. 

It’s probably because I’m a Leo. I mean, I can’t help that the stars made me the way they did. 

Anyway, I made a little compromise with myself: I only turn my camera on when I know I’m right about something or have a good, insightful question to ask. Why am I like this? I don’t know, but if people are going to see me, they’re going to see me being productive. And hey, in recorded lectures, I’ll be immortalized as someone who vaguely knew what they were talking about.

Zoom class gives “on fire” a new meaning

By: Nancy La

The ability to focus on a task without getting distracted was something I had to learn in a snap as we all moved to online learning last year. Yet one day, I found out that my ability to focus has already reached the level of a Yoda master. I sailed through an in-class writing assignment while I evacuated from my apartment complex that was on fire. 

The key to such laser-sharp focus? Noise-cancelling headphones, and a very strong desire to pass your Q-course.

I am online learning’s unstoppable force and immovable object. I proved I can churn out a paper on the various functions of logarithms in my daily life while my home is in danger of being burnt down. The fire alarm’s incessant blaring did not phase me. Nothing will ever phase me again.

From that day onwards, I am known to the neighbours as “the one kid who went to class while her building was on fire” and to be honest, that’s a badge I will wear with honour.

Loneliness is a pet peeve

By: Jacob Mattie

This semester has been rough. 

Lockdown has been going on for a year, and combined with the cold isolation of winter, I’ve found myself with a need for companionship that challenges even the comforting presence of Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Tea bear.

Now, I don’t have any pets, and I’m not sure that I’m at a place in life where I’m even able to adopt one in good faith. But every so often, late at night, my eyes grow heavy and I find myself once again researching low-maintenance pets. While I have yet to cave to the temptation, there seems to be an endless list of increasingly odd things I could adopt without much trouble.

Did you know that quail make great pets? Not only are they easy to take care of, but are curious, tame, and also lay eggs that would surely step up my breakfast game — I hadn’t realized I wanted to eat a 15-egg omelette, but life is often full of surprises.

Or perhaps a giant isopod. With the right water pressure, they only need feeding once every couple years. Velvet worms! Snakes! Hermit crabs! 

In my lowest of lows, I even thought about an ant farm. Thank goodness that one passed.

New Horizons, Old habits

By: Alex Masse

Yes, almost a year later, I’m still playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons like my life depends on it. I have almost all of my favourite villagers, my town has hit five stars, and I’m just paying off the last loans on my house. Be jealous. 

Hey, imagine if I was saying that last part in real life. Imagine a university student being able to afford a house. Haha. Imagine.

I played a little bit of Animal Crossing while watching movies for film studies. I needed something for my idle hands. It was either that or sewing, and you can only stab yourself with a needle so many goddamn times before realizing, “hey, I can either sew or watch subtitled films, but probably not both.” 

But the one class where I actually paid attention, computer studies, I bombed. I spent hours doing homework with help from TAs, watched and rewatched lectures, and then when the practice midterm came along, I came out with a shiny 20. Not 20 marks. 20%.

I wonder if the powers that be know they can’t strike me down in arts classes where I did play, so they decided to hit me where it hurts. All I know now is Animal Crossing gardening studies are more my style than computer studies. Also, I probably shouldn’t play during class.