In March 2020, my just-turned-18-year-old was told not to return to her ultra-liberal, elite, east coast university that she had worked her ass off to get into.

She finished the semester online.

In the fall of 2020, she took personal leave after learning the C19 restrictions…
…which included:

- being socially isolated
- living alone on campus
- masks in and outdoors
- no clubs or in-person events
- online classes
- mandated weekly testing
- take-out meals only, and
- harsh punishment and public shaming—including expulsion—for breaking C19 rules…
That’s not what college is about.

College is about learning and growing and exploring and becoming more independent and dating and joining clubs and eating shitty cafeteria food *with* friends and all-nighters and moving forward…
So tried desperately to stay optimistic, hoping the hysteria would fade.

She was so lonely.

Come April, she’d decided on a fall return. Restrictions had eased w/ the vaccine rollout & the elderly faculty were now protected.

And then her school mandated vaccines for students…
She thought they might rescind with pushback, but they didn’t.

So she called her Dean & walked away from school - and a $75K/yr scholarship and 3.9 GPA.

We got on a plane, retrieved her belongings from storage across from her dorm, & flew home w/ no idea what might come next.
She knew she wanted to go back to school so she began seriously looking for schools where life was normal & no one was forced to vaccinate.

It was not an easy search but I was also so glad she didn’t give in.

The mandates weren’t bring back normal life, as promised.
We queried our many friends in academia. I put a call out on Twitter.

We kept hearing one particular school named over & over.

So we looked into it.

It was an unexpected pivot but, the deeper she looked, she more she realized her values aligned with theirs.

So she applied…
I was trepidatious.

We are city people. This school was very rural.

I’ve been a registered Dem my entire adult life and this school was decidedly conservative.

Our family is not religious. There’s was strong faith-based component.

And no full ride.

Seemed like a stretch…
But this past Sat night, in the freezing rain, I got this pic of her as we walked the campus of her new school and just looking at it brings me to tears.

She looks alive again.

She’s been waiting 2yrs for her adult life to begin & it’s finally happening.

She’ll be 20 in Feb…
As I type this, she’s in a big, beautiful house accepting a sorority bid and celebrating with her soon-to-be sisters.

She had new student orientation earlier today & met transfers who landed there for the same reason she did.

She’s not alone anymore.

School starts Weds…
She didn’t choose it just for the C19 rationality. She learned the hard way the value of liberty & how precious - & fragile - it is.

Sometimes the most painful lessons are also the most salient.

She wants to live her principles & surround herself w/ ppl doing the same…
And because of that cognitive reframe, she’s *finally* getting back to learning, growing, exploring, becoming more independent, dating, joining clubs, pledging, eating shitty cafeteria food *with* friends, pulling all-nighters & moving forward…
And I couldn’t be happier for her.

Which is remarkable.

Because - for the past two years - it would’ve been tough for me to be much more sad.

I’m sharing to give everyone hope. Things can get better. Keep fighting. Don’t give up. Keeping looking. Push back. Be brave…
Most importantly, stay open to learning new things about others and yourself.

The fault lines aren’t drawn the way they want you to believe they are.

You might find yourself at home in the most unexpected place.
ETA: This was not a dig at her new school’s cafeteria. It hadn’t even reopened when I wrote that.

It was a lighthearted joke re: a common college experience.

However, she is looking forward to her first meal there tonight &—all the more—sharing it with her new friends.


• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with AJ Kay

AJ Kay Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @AJKayWriter

8 Jan
If the CDC, NHS, or any other PH/Epi surveillance authority really ‘can’t figure out’ if people are hospitalized ‘w/ Covid’ or ‘from Covid’, then…

a.) that lack of distinction applies to the entire last two years

b.) they lack the most basic skills their job requires…
…and should all be immediately replaced with people who called out this gross data collection flaw—oh—two damn years ago.
Bottom line: their stated ‘confusion’ is either a matter of lying to the public or gross incompetence.

Neither is defensible.
Read 4 tweets
31 Dec 21
My favorite tweets of today summarized:

"If you only had your MPH, you would know that failure is actually a sign of success."
"I know I just pissed my pants in front of you but saying so isn't fair because you're not accounting for all the times you weren't around and I didn't piss my pants."
"The appearance of failure is the most anyone can reasonably expect from me."
Read 5 tweets
30 Dec 21
So closing out 2021, we have seen:

@CDCDirector admitting that PCR is unfit for purpose of determining infectiousness

@DrLeanaWen admitting cloth masks are mere facial decorations


@chrislhayes acknowledging that we don’t reorient our lives around the flu.

Are we done now?
Read 6 tweets
30 Dec 21
Anyone who thinks this is new info hasn't been paying attention.

And that's ok.

But all those people who called this out 18mo. ago?

They *were* paying attention.

Maybe we should start listening to them now since - you know - they've been paying attention all this time.
And their reward for paying attention - mind you - was endless scorn, derision, and moral accusations.

So maybe a little more consideration this time is in order.
And basic human decency aside, this matters because PCR is not fit for the purpose of determining infectiousness and infectiousness is the *only* reasonable justification for quarantining people (and even that is debatable).

Ergo we should not quarantine people based on PCR.
Read 7 tweets
29 Dec 21
I’d bet there’s an honest mea culpa out there that sounds a lot like this:

“In March 2020, my life didn’t feel particularly meaningful & I wasn’t contributing much to the world.

Suddenly, I had a chance to feel like I could, w/o sacrificing anything I didn’t already want to…
“And for awhile I’ve suspected that the policies I was supporting didn’t quite make sense and were only superficially consistent with my values. But I resisted changing my mind because I really needed to believe I was one of the “good” ones — that I was doing the “right” thing…
“It’s very important to me to believe that I’m a good person and that those around me agree…
Read 13 tweets
27 Dec 21
So now vaccinated people—many of whom proposed refusing unvaccinated people medical care on the grounds that they would unnecessarily overwhelm hospitals—are unnecessarily overwhelming hospitals…

And to be clear, I don’t actually begrudge them. People should be able to go to the ER when they believe they need to.

The problem is that they’ve been led to believe they need to — even when they have no symptoms or physical complaints…
For one thing, we should not be encouraging people to repeatedly test themselves at home for what they have been told is an indiscriminate deadly disease and them abandoning them to their own devices when they pop positive…
Read 8 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!