With so much of the college experience being relegated to an online space this semester, students are facing new and unprecedented challenges each and every day. Between connectivity issues during class, awkward Zoom breakout seshes, and Google Hangouts club meetings, the transition to a less physically connected campus has been a tough one. Perhaps the most difficult adjustment in light of our changing world, however, has been in the romantic sphere.
Polling of students across the College revealed a dire situation for most single Ephs. When asked about how his love life is going, one sophomore, Devin O’Brian, said, “Ya know, not great. It’s not going too great. I mean it wasn’t going all that great when things were normal, but like, man, this Zoom thing is not helping. Like, dude, everyone can see my room whenever I join a Zoom meeting.” O’Brian paused for a second, taking a rather mondo hit of his juul, and then continued rather vociferously, explaining, “I’ll go to my class because I want to learn ya know like read and stuff, but I know what everyone’s thinking. See, when you join class with your video on, everyone knows everything about you. All those eyes look directly into your soul, but, more importantly, they also look behind you, right at your unmade bed. Honestly, like I make my bed most of the time (The Haystack cannot corroborate this claim as this interview was conducted over Zoom, and we could clearly see O’Brian’s unmade bed), but once you join one class with your bed not made one time, everybody only knows you as the unmade bed guy. It’s been pretty catastrophic for my clout if I’m totally honest.”
Several students echoed O’Brian’s sentiments, as Deborah Deetos ‘22 went so far as to say that online class had tanked all of her prospects. Deetos explained that, “Last year, not a single person would have known about my wall of old pasta bowl containers, but now I’ll join a Zoom meeting and people will immediately comment on my glorious wall of old pasta bowl containers, saying things like, ‘Ew does that girl have a wall of seventeen old pasta bowl containers?’ or ‘I think there’s still pasta in a bunch of those old pasta bowl containers in that one girl’s room.’ I can’t even have a wall of old pasta bowl containers in my own goddamn dorm room? I mean is nothing sacred anymore?”
No, it was not the parties on Hoxsey or the student body’s collective rampant alcoholism but a more silent killer, Covid-19, that forced us all to ask the question: “Is romance at Williams finally dead?”