Date of Award
Union College Only
Bachelor of Arts
fiction, second person perspective, narrative, young adult, creative writing
This project is a second-person narrative of an unnamed character’s struggle throughout the beginning of 2020, as they navigate through feelings and experiences of uncertainty, loss, family issues, and mental health problems amidst the background of the COVID-19 pandemic. Split into three parts — “Summer,” “Spring,” and “Fall” — we explore the upheaval of the narrator’s life from college during the initial stages of shutdown, as well as the significant events that happened during the long, in-between period of quarantine that many of us remember so well. As a plot device, the narrator’s romantic and familial relationships also grow and change throughout the story. Through this, I hope to call into question what it means to love other people from a distance, as well as adequately describe what it feels like to be alone, truly, for the first time in one’s life. Most details of the narrator's life (such as places, names, etc.) are kept relatively vague, in hopes that the reader will form a deeper understanding and connection to “You” — the one who is ultimately telling the story. And although this story is largely based on my own personal experiences, I hope that by exploring themes such as isolation, loneliness, and self-identity — things that many of us have most likely contemplated in the past year — the reader is able to further connect with the narrator and derive similar emotions and experiences from this relevant time in history.
Schaeffer, Madeline, "What I Knew Then, and What I Know Now" (2022). Honors Theses. 2548.
Available for download on Friday, March 10, 2023