Last night as I twisted and turned in the sheets, my partner whispered to me. Little fast flutters in her belly, in the pitter-patter tempo, a little person began kicking.
The 17-hour workdays are here again! Filled with many assignments and multiple group projects between the must-dos of cooking, laundry, and the odd lick of paint. A year ago, distance learning was implemented, and since then, challenges have come with it. Now, a year later, the ability to interact in a physical setting is sorely missed.
I did not see one benefit right away, and it is hard to understand how I didn’t, but that was the commuting. A 50-minute drive to and from Maynooth and the occasional trip to the U.S Embassy is not so missed. Neither is coming in the door at 8 or 9 o’clock at night if I don’t stay up in Dublin.
The time lost travelling to college is now recouped and spent on the occasional lie in or the walk through the nearby forest with the morning dew still slow to leave.
I’ve not set foot in Maynooth or stepped through the detectors of the embassy. The last time I was in the modernist building of the 60s that now seems brutalist in design, the Donald’s portrait was on the hall shouldered by Pence and Mike Pompeo. I don’t know when I will get to see aul Joe on the wall. I fondly remember the conversations with the marines, OSAC officer Gonzalez, reps of the trade and commerce departments and many others. Hearty laughs around every table over pizzas and soft drinks. This year promises great excitement of working with advisors to produce a position paper as part of the Young Leaders Council with the Embassy and State Department.
In a myriad of assignments and due dates, it can be hard to make time for yourself and others around you. And for me, I do this by taking time -off away from screens. The way we learn now revolves around screens, from viewing to writing assignments and connecting with our teammates. From working on my laptop, then checking my phone and after college work at some stage watching something. I knew that was too much time looking at a screen, and it was consuming my attention, my presence and wasting precious time.
This month, I would like to share the importance of reflection during this time; lockdown wears thin on us and can be overwhelming with endless college work. So, take time off, find something that works for you. Relax and think for yourself and take those breaks away from screens. Find something.
For me, it’s cooking as well as my continuing involvement with the U.S Embassy. I hope you all have or can find some extracurricular social network as well, as we all need that outside connection that we do not work/study with.
Maynooth is such a part of my identity now; I sorely miss being on campus, but I whole heartily take pleasure in the comfort of my home preparing for the future.