The LSE 2020-2021 academic year is rapidly drawing to a close. Within a few weeks, the Summer Term will be over, exams will be finished, and students will be heading off into their much-deserved summer holidays. Some of them will be interning, some working, some perhaps traveling, but all of them will hopefully be resting, no matter what they decide to do. It’s been a really hard year for us all; there’s no other way to say it. We’ve all struggled in our ways to cope with what the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought us. We’ve all had to adapt to new challenges, circumstances, and situations. How it has impacted each and every one of us has been disparate and wide-ranging. But it has impacted us all.
For me, it’s been a year of ups and downs. As someone nearly halfway done with their PhD (a surreal thing to think about, let alone write), this past academic year has not been easy. While my first year of teaching was a bright spot despite it all, it’s been difficult to research and write with limited access to archives and resources. I’ve been making due and getting creative with how to get documents and sources, but it’s still been tough. Completing a PhD even under the best circumstances is a mitzvah, so you can imagine what it’s like during COVID-19. While I’m cautiously optimistic things are improving here in the UK and in my home country of the United States, the lack of certainty and the knowledge things could shift overnight is both distressing and troubling.
Yet, I am grateful for and humbled by the immense amounts of support I have received from the community around me. My colleagues, supervisor, friends, family, and others have all helped me in numerous ways. Without them, I certainly would be nowhere. The best I can do is try to keep working and hope that things will improve. It’s been a challenging year and we all need to be kind to ourselves. If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s that.