By Julia Furmanek

After what felt like a never-ending summer spent in the soft confines of my childhood home, adulthood and the responsibilities it so affectionately threw my way have come on hard and fast now that the semester has started. September brought a rapid succession of Zoom meetings, club emails and work schedules all with my name on them. 

But then the water turned brown.

Considering the possible COVID-19 complications on campus, I opted to spend the start of my junior year elsewhere and rented a house in the middle of nowhere. Besides the hoards of deer and rabbits frequenting my backyard, I expected very little excitement bunkered down in the small town of Willington, Connecticut. But as it turns out, ‘adulting’ always has its challenges. 

One morning, black sludge started pouring in through the shower and sinks without explanation. That is, until a cryptic note from the landlord materialized on our front step, warning us to refrain from using the tap water for internal use until further notice.

This advice seemed pretty straightforward, before we lived it. Jugs of Poland Spring water only go so far when there’s a household full of dishes to be washed, teeth to be brushed and pets to hydrate. Not that I’m complaining. For many people, this is an everyday reality. But it has made for a strange day-to-day. 

Juxtaposed with the surreal, otherworldly nature of Zoom University, where technology has become a life-blood, I find myself without the crucial mechanics of running water. Instead, I’m boiling gallon after gallon by the stove, confronted by the absurdity of the last couple of months. 

Whereas a few seasons ago I was just learning to navigate city-life, waiting for the B line and bracing myself against the cold Boston winds, I’m now struggling to figure out how to raise my hand digitally. But I’m trying to embrace the novelty of this moment and the uncertain ones that follow. 

This was not the college experience I envisioned when I committed to Boston University just a few long years ago, but I can’t say it hasn’t been interesting. Whether you’re social distancing on campus or attending BU by way of webcam, cheers to a year of new challenges and novel experiences — may we be better for it in the end.