This is part of a series called Postcards From Here, in which Harvard undergraduates talk about the changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Hayoung Ahn ’20

Hometown: Queens, N.Y.
Concentration: Neuroscience
House: Lowell

Cambridge as home

“I miss being surrounded by people and moving around all day. I miss being able to have spontaneous conversations with friends that I would run into as I walked around campus. I loved moments where I would see someone I hadn’t seen in a while and just catch up on the spot. At the start of this semester, back in February, I made it one of my intentions to reach out to certain individuals and grab dinner with them one-on-one. Some of those dinners lasted two (sometimes even three) hours. There would be so much to discuss and talk about that we’d simply lose track of time. I’m really captivated by meaningful conversations and opportunities to connect with people on a deeper level, and I think that living on campus gave me lots of chances to seek fulfillment in that way. Over the course of the past four years, I’ve truly come to appreciate Cambridge as a home for me. I just wish I had a few more weeks to enjoy it.”

 Weekly movie night

“Zoom, FaceTime, and Houseparty have also been amazing for video calls and making the most out of this situation. My friends and I try to get creative by incorporating more shared experiences. I’m doing a weekly movie night with my College roommate, where we take a night off and watch something on Netflix ‘together.’ I think that as a College senior, I already had a good sense of who I want to maintain contact with after we graduate. In a way, this quarantine just sped up that process.”

Wrapping things up

“I spend most days at my desk. Besides being a full-time student, I’m also a course teaching fellow, as well as a research assistant at a Harvard psychology lab. I have been continuing both jobs remotely. I’m also part of Harvard Yearbook Publications, and we have been busy collecting orders for the Class of 2020 Yearbook and preparing for a transition in leadership for next year.”

Waiting for the storm to pass

“Since we live in New York, where the situation is particularly severe, I think that there is a lot of fear surrounding us and impacting our lifestyles. My parents have both been at home, no longer able to go to work. My younger brother is a senior in high school, and he has been taking his classes online, too. It feels like I’m on an indefinite spring break, and I’m just spending time at home, waiting for the storm to pass by. The streets are very empty. On my walks around my neighborhood, I’ve been able to walk on the roads without worrying about cars passing through. It’s a very strange atmosphere.”



Finding creative ways to maintain campus bonds remotely

Some groups have retooled old school rituals, while others have created new ones

Scenes from the socially distant

Teaching by podcast; a taste of campus life; lessons from the South Pole; virtual voice lessons

Life at a distance

Snapshots of the widespread Harvard community: A Zoom wedding; reunion in St. Croix; challenges of teaching ASL online; and a taste of Cuba

Dispatches from socially distancing students and faculty

A remote ‘Doctor of Philosophy Dance Party,’ laughter yoga, crowd-sourced altruism, and tweet to remember

Notes from the new normal

Bits of the socially distanced lives of staff and faculty, from a LEGO model of the Music Building to Gov. Andrew Cuomo as Henry V to cereal for dinner — in the shower