Flyby’s Top 10 Pandemic Pieces of the Past Year
Man, is it the 365th day of March already? Jeez, time has really flown by for Flyby. It’s been a weird year, but don’t worry — we still found a way to opine, complain, and make quizzes about our new virtual reality. We proudly present Flyby’s Top 10 Pandemic Pieces of the Past Year, from the start of this nightmare to today:
Ah, yes. The one that started it all. With just five short days to figure out our entire lives after moving to a virtual semester, most of us spent the days stressing over everything from storing belongings to squeezing in the maximum number of tearful goodbyes to arranging transportation home. Once the critical items were checked off, though, we faced another problem: How on Earth does one spend $65 of BoardPlus in five or less days? Luckily, this board has a deep love of LamCafe Javivas and intimate knowledge of every campus café.
Thanks to Hannah J. Humes ’21, we blazed through our final days holding BoardPlus office hours, stocking up on snacks for our drives / flights, and, yes, purchasing entire cakes.
Just about a month prior to doomsday, we presented the incredible instant classic of “How to Vibe Check Your Section.” After about two weeks at home getting familiar with the latest cursed blue app in our lives, our piece needed an update to fit these virtual times. Where would we be without our lovely vibe-checking writer?
Thanks to Sarah M. Lightbody ’22, we can vibe check across any distance, and look good doing it.
After a month off campus, we were still deep in our feelings. Our seniors were oscillating between complete shock and sadness; our underclassmen were missing those final weeks with their mentors and friends. We’re a pretty sentimental board, so we channeled our feelings into a farewell piece expressing our gratitude to the senior class whose last year at Harvard ended far too soon. Class of 2020, if you’re reading this, we love and miss you!
Thanks to Rocket Claman ’21, we learned it’s okay to not be okay, and that you should always tell the people you love how you really feel.
Despite being in a pandemic, we were determined to welcome the Class of 2024 to Harvard, and hopefully pass on some of our upperclassmen knowledge (like, please, please, please don’t wear your ID and keys on a lanyard around your neck!). Knowing nothing about what Virtual Visitas would actually be like, we still managed to point out the silver linings of a Virtual Visitas, give advice on how to choose a college that fits with no in-person campus visit weekends, and, most importantly, how to have a ~spicy~ Virtual Visitas.
Thanks to our staff writers, we were able to keep the welcoming spirit of Flyby going strong in a truly *unprecedented* situation.
Something about being in your childhood bedroom just makes you want to play your sophomore year playlist on repeat, text old crushes, fall back into your high school sleep schedule, or do something equally toxic. Luckily, we were able to brainstorm some practical solutions to cope with the quarantine impulse to re-read Percy Jackson and be a grindy tryhard.
Thanks to Kiana Ziadkhanpour ’22, we remembered that sometimes, you need to actually take care of yourself in a pandemic, and were grateful for the tips on how to go about it.
With fall weather fully setting in and our Guide to Harvard-Yale (understandably) off the table, we devoted ourselves to a brand new feature: Dear Freshmen. With a campus full of almost entirely freshmen, we gladly passed along all the hot tips, wholesome advice, and Cambridge must-do’s we wished we could have given in person.
Thanks to our staff writers, we welcomed in the new freshmen with joy, advice, and excitement — Covid may have changed their first year at Harvard, but we wouldn’t let it change our love for them<3
Do you ever look at your texts during a global pandemic and realize you kinda haven’t had the emotional stamina to reach out to, like, anyone in months? Yeah, we get it. Luckily, your people will understand, even if it’s been a minute. Still, never a bad idea to express some #gratitude, so feel free to use our open letter for some inspo (or just copy and paste — we won’t tell).
Thanks to Georgia K. Steigerwald ’23, all of us who kinda disappeared into a TikTok wormhole in April and didn’t reemerge til September felt inspired to send some words of affirmation to the people we care about.
Few images can appropriately sum up a year of living on campus during the pandemic without a single word — among them is undoubtedly the giant brown paper bags filling every recycling bin in the Cambridge area. If you’ve been watching too many Five Minute Crafts videos and feel like you can do anything with a pair of scissors and a glue stick, look no further for ways to spice up those plain bags. Maybe they’ll serve as some great keepsakes when this nightmare is over.
Thanks to Ashton E. Body ’24 and Alexandria T. Q. Ho ’24, we gave those brown bags an interesting second life as everything from protest signs to picnic blankets to slippers.
With another midterm season slowly rolling in, our writer appropriately captured the feeling each of us has had nearly every time we’ve looked at an assignment these past few semesters: “RUDE.” The bar may be on the floor (asking us to have thoughts? crazy!), but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t still been an honestly tough semester — or maybe it’s just ~different~.
Thanks (again) to Rocket Claman ’21, we felt #seen about how really, truly, awfully burnt-out we’re all feeling — and hoped our professors would see it too.
As the first piece in our new Flyby Everywhere international column, this one holds a special place in our heart. While this year has been a general shitshow for everyone, international students have been hit especially hard, with many new freshmen never having stepped foot in the United States (let alone on campus!). To our international freshmen classmates, we love you, and you deserve so much better than this year.
Thanks to Sandra W. Mwangi ’24, we appreciated the simple joys of having seen even the slightest exterior of a Harvard building in person, and enjoyed time well spent exploring through Google Earth.
And here we are, back to the present. There’s no denying that this was a dumpster fire of a year, in more ways than one. Yet, at least we’ve had the best classmates to share the experience with. It’s been quite a ride, and no matter what this next year brings, we’ll be here to commemorate and commiserate with salty articles, funky quizzes, heartfelt open letters, Harvard hacks, and, as always, a whole lot of flove.