Dear Pre-Quarentine Rafia

Dear pre-quarantine Rafia,

Its me from the future. You do not know it yet, but you’re in for one hell of a ride. I’m sure you’re having the time of your life enjoying your newfound freedom. You’re starting to find yourself. You’re starting to heal and restart your life. The semester just started. You started a new show amidst all the procrastination. You have new hopes for the new semester. But I’m writing to tell you to brace yourself. In a few weeks, you’ll start to hear about a virus in China. I know, I know. China is far far away from you and what could a tiny virus possibly do? But you’ll start to see just how much damage it can do. It’ll make its way here.

The first major change would be the panic buying and the lock down. You’ll stop going to college. You’ll feel scared. And you’ll stop going to college. Next comes the fear. Every single day, you’ll wake up to more news of deaths. So much death. You’ll see memes upon memes about the virus. Sometimes you’ll laugh it off. I mean, how could this virus possibly kill so many people? But you’ll see. It’ll bring out the absolute worst in people. You’ll see all the injustice, all the disparities. And you’ll start to lose hope.

The first few weeks will be the worst. I know you hate staying in that tiny one bedroom. You feel trapped. But it’s going to be OK. March will drag on, and suddenly its April. The weather will start to get better, the trees will come back to life. Somedays you’ll wake up excited. You’ll think that the pandemic is over. Surely there couldn’t be so much suffering and so much death when the world outside looks so beautiful. But don’t be fooled. You still have a long way to go. Suddenly, its Ramadan. You’ll start to pray. After all, what else can you do? Your fear will push you to pray and you’ll beg. Sometimes you don’t even know what for. Maybe those days filled with nothingness where you would go to college, complain to your friends and maybe get some bubble tea. God, you’ll miss bubble tea so damn much. You’ll start to fast. Sometimes you would be grateful for the opportunity to stay at home instead of going to class and fasting at the same time. You’ll start to get into the routine of waking up at 12 pm, cooking and BAM, its somehow sunset. Another day will pass without you even noticing. April will teach you to cook. You’ll try new recipes and start to feel a bit more like a person again.

And suddenly, its May. Finals are coming. You realize you didn’t learn much. Shit. Its fine, its fine. After all, your exam are all open-book *wink wink*. But you’ll start to feel lost. Somedays you’ll wonder if all of this work is worth it. You’ll question everything. And the loneliness will come in at full force. It’ll feel like hell and you’ll beat yourself over it. Over and over again. You’ll beat yourself up over so many trivial things. You’ll pick and prod at all of your insecurities. After all, what does one do with all this time to themselves? But it’ll get better. You’ll slowly find your voice. You’ll find inspiration. You’ll start writing again. The death will stop eventually. You’ll be able to go out again. You’ll rejoice over the tiniest things. You will see your friends. But always remember, in the future, when you’re feeling beaten down, how you found the strength to go on inside yourself all along. I hope this experience, above everything else, teaches you that life is precious. Be grateful for every second of it.


You from the future

P.S. That microeconomics final is going to be a real bitch. Make sure to study!



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I like reading, traveling and writing (in that order).