Student Perspective: Excerpts from English 199 Final Course Memo

April 30, 2020

The final week of my freshman year at Fisher has arrived. Looking back on this year, I have come to realize how blessed I am to say that I am a Fisher Cardinal. Fisher is such a beautiful place and we are all truly a “Fisher family.”

Lyndsay O'Brien

Every day I miss being on campus more and more. I miss seeing my best friends, roommates, my coaches and teammates, and my professors. I miss the Ward-Haffey Dining Hall. Most of all, I miss devoting myself to being the best possible student-athlete that I can be. I miss walking past the nursing building and thinking, “I can’t wait to be the best nurse.” I miss being in the shot put and discus ring during practice and thinking to myself, “I love being a college athlete.”

Fisher has given me a home away from home. As I sit at my dining room table typing out this letter, I am filled with a sense of emptiness knowing that I should be typing this at my favorite table, right by the window, on the second floor of the Lavery Library. But, we have to accept our new reality - despite how painful it may be.

Since I have had to leave campus, I’ve felt that a part of me is now gone. Part of my identity, who I am, and who I will become is instilled into the very framework of the Fisher campus and always will be. Since at Fisher, I have created a beautiful life for myself and I have met my very best friends. I have felt the love and compassion that Fisher has to offer every day. Every day, waking up in my dorm room, I am excited to take on my day and I am filled with gratefulness for the ability to be at Fisher.

The transition to online learning for me has been no easy feat. Some days I wake up and am ready to take on my assignments and workload and I am very productive. Other days I struggle to even make my bed after I wake up (the first task I complete every single day) and I am not the slightest bit productive. I feel so distant from the beautiful life I have made myself at Fisher. Don’t get me wrong, I do love my parents and I come from a very happy home and all, but at Fisher I was able to spread my wings to fly freely into my future.

Lyndsay and her teammates.

Since Coronavirus has halted the world, I have become increasingly grateful for the love and support my parents give me every single day. Upon moving back in with them, they have provided me with a space to do my work, a well-stocked fridge, home cooked meals, love and support, and my mom has become my proofreader (she even read all 20 pages of my essay on Gandhi; that's love). My pup, Lucy has been my study buddy day in and day out. She’s been my companion and classmate (although she often falls asleep on the job, but that’s okay).

These “corona times” have taught me how to be more patient with myself and show myself more self-compassion when enduring stressful times. I’ve further developed my skills to forgive myself on the days when I’m not as productive, and I’ve also learned that if my mentality isn’t positive, clear, and healthy then I will not be my highest self. And so, I’ve discovered that I must focus on the things that I can control and let the things I cannot control just fall to the background. Additionally, these times have led me to turn towards finding a philosophy to live by, Stoicism. Right now I am rereading my favorite all-time book, “A Guide to the Good Life” by William Irvine. I first stumbled upon the ideas of the ancient practice of Stoicism from my Intro to Philosophy class I took during the fall semester taught by Dr. Rob Ruehl. I am rereading the book because I have the desire to become a practicing Stoic, and to reexamine the steps I need to take in order to classify myself as one.

This article was written by Lyndsay O’Brien ’23, a first-year student majoring in nursing.