Staff Picks: The little things we miss

Reflecting on the small things we didn’t realize we loved, a year into the pandemic

Reminiscing about the small stuff.

Last March, as campus shuttered, students packed up and headed home, not knowing when life would return to some semblance of normal.

Now, a year later, three Journal staff share the little things they’ve missed during the pandemic.


This is going to shock everyone who knows me, but I miss hugs.

I’m a notorious hater of hugs, something I’ve confessed to myself, my friends, my therapist. The only time I hug my parents is when I’m leaving to go back to Queen’s, and even then, my dad has to force me to do it.

The pandemic has resurrected my sentimental side and made me miss the one thing I used to despise: casual hugs. I miss being drunk at a party and throwing your arms around your friend who arrived a little too late and you’re beyond excited to see. I miss hugging my grandma instead of walking two metres away from her. I miss the obligatory side hug I give my aunts and uncles when I see them once a year. I miss hugging my friends goodbye instead of hanging up the phone.

A hug is a breakdown of self and other, where you both for a moment become one. After months of being physically separated from loved ones and only seeing them through Zoom calls, I miss that dissolution of self more than ever.

—Tessa Warburton, Production Manager

Online shopping has its perks, especially during a pandemic. There’s no need to head to a crowded mall and find parking, no getting sweaty from trying on 15 t-shirts in a row, and you get the excitement of both purchasing your product and opening up the package a week or two later.

However, there’s something about heading to the mall that I just can’t forget—wandering around a store and brushing my hand against every textured fabric I could find.

In a pandemic world, we’re only supposed to touch things we’re committed to purchasing. Walking right past glitter, sequins, or lace and not being able to know what that feels like is a unique kind of torture. Sadly, it’s something I may never get to do again. The era of touching things just for the sake of knowing what they feel like no longer seems like a responsible thing to do, even after we’re all vaccinated.

It may be an inconsequential, fleeting moment, but I don’t know if there will ever be a day I will walk past a sequined tube top without longing to reach out my hand.

—Kirby Harris, Assistant Lifestyle Editor

I miss going to study at CoGro and then failing to even crack open a book or type a single word of an essay because I’ve run into everyone I know somewhere between my table and the line up to buy a coffee—any time of day, any day of the week.

I also miss heading to CoGro specifically because I need a second opinion and can trust that everyone I’m looking for is there, or walking up the stairs with a stack of The Journal on Friday mornings and passing them out to friends. Or not being able to find a table and heading to the Brew, only to run into another handful of classmates or former floormates.

Campus is small, and—before the pandemic closed the physical spaces—my Queen’s experience was tied to those unplanned encounters with friends between classes.

—Claudia Rupnik, News Editor

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