“One step on campus , you could tell something was wrong .”
I HAD to go to campus one day , March 19th , in the midst of a global pandemic , which had essentially shut everything down . It was finals week , and while that meant that campus would naturally be a bit slower , it was certain to be much slower than I had ever seen it before .
I brought my camera to campus for this reason , thinking I could get some scenic
“ I truly miss having my own room on campus …”
THE ANNOUNCEMENT that spring quarter would be completely online was a blessing in disguise , at least for me . I was growing unable to pay my rent in San Diego , with anxiety mounting as each month went by . A virtual quarter meant I could return home to Claremont , California , and attend classes in my parents ' apartment . There was only one problem : I ’ d be attending classes in my parents ' apartment .
At first I didn ’ t mind being home with my parents , my brother , and my fluffy dog . It was a bit crowded with two bedrooms — neither of them mine — and overflowing with furniture and boxes from our last big move . When I would visit from college , I either slept on the couch or in my parents ' room for a weekend . Yet that soon became everyday shots that would normally be impossible given how busy it usually is . And I did get some good photos , at least in my opinion , but campus wasn ’ t as beautiful as I thought it would be . Don ’ t get me wrong : our campus is gorgeous . It ’ s right by the ocean , full of nature and some beautiful , albeit somewhat eclectic , architecture . But that day — a warm , sunny , picturesque March afternoon — just one step on campus , you could tell something was wrong .
For one , I didn ’ t have to fight for parking . I didn ’ t have to wait 20 minutes for the shuttle . I didn ’ t have to wade through people to get to class . If you asked me during the first week of any quarter , I would say the problem at UC San Diego is that we have too many people on campus . Today , I ’ m sure I wouldn ’ t say that again . Because I ’ ve realized that while our campus has both natural and man-made beauty , none of it shines without the people there to give it purpose .
life , and I truly miss having my own room on campus . I miss the tree outside my window blowing in the sea breeze ; I miss the bed that was perfectly sized for me . I miss having UC San Diego at my doorstep .
When I first came home , I did my classwork at the kitchen table . My dog would hover around me , begging for a piece of food , unaware that it was actually a pen in my hand . Eventually , my parents bought a desk with a hutch that I immediately made mine , shelves stocked with books and my favorite knickknacks . They set it up in their room , giving me as much space as they could spare .
My family is used to working in close quarters . Since I was a toddler , I watched my parents launch small businesses from home . I can remember helping them make buttons for an eBay shop or watching my dad create websites for local companies . I ’ ve watched them hustle every day since I can remember , so this situation — while cramped , challenging , and hopefully temporary — is somewhat familiar .
Virginia Woolf once said , “ A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction .” She may be right about that , but some of us don ’ t have either of
I ’ ll never forget that day walking around that empty campus . And when we do go back , I certainly won ’ t take for granted the people — my fellow students , the vendors and pamphleteers on Library Walk , the professors rushing to class like all the rest of us . I ’ ll appreciate each and every one of those people . Because now I know , the beauty of our campus isn ’ t because of the nature and those eclectic buildings — all these things
despite the people . It ’ s actually the other way around . It ’ s the diverse and dynamic groups of people that call our campus home , or work , or school , or alma mater , that truly make it beautiful .
David Dupont is a fourth-year transfer student studying communications at Eleanor Roosevelt College . He plans to pursue a career in PR or marketing .
those things , yet still have work to do . I am one of them — with pages to read , discussion comments to post , and papers to write . So I think about a quote from novelist Sandra Newman instead : “ Write until you make room for yourself .” That ’ s what I do every day , here at my desk , surrounded by books , moving boxes , and suitcases , making room for myself in my corner of a room .
Savannah Muñoz ’ 21 is a literature / writing student in Muir College , and a student writer for UC San Diego ’ s Triton magazine . She hopes to continue pursuing a career in writing .